The accident at Batu Feringghi beach where a horse knocked down a girl on Tuesday could have been avoided, according to a horse ride organiser.
Mohd Salim Ismong, 46, said the authorities should have created horse-riding zones instead of banning the activity altogether at the beach.
He told reporters here today that he and his wife, Noraini Hamad, 39, and some 30 others involved in organising horse rides lost their main source of income when the ban was imposed in January.
Mohd Salim, who owns three horses and has been organising rides the past 20 years, said that he had approached the authorities several times but they had ignored his suggestion for riding zones at the beach.
“I’ve met state government representatives several times and even submitted a working paper, but they all ignored my proposal,” he said, adding that he was speaking on behalf of all the horse-ride organisers in the area.
Mohd Salim said that horse riding at the beach was popular among both domestic and international tourists.
“Before the ban, I had about 40 tourists as customers a day. The others too enjoyed good business,” he said.
“We only asked for three zones. If they allow us to operate for four hours, that will be more than enough,” he added.
In the 10am accident, five-year-old Arina Kirana Azrin sustained a thigh injury and a fractured shoulder after being knocked down by a horse while building a sandcastle at the beach.
She was with her 12-year sister who was not hurt.