Batu, 65, succeeded Francis R. Ledesma at the helm of the Club.
An erstwhile big biker and founding president of On Any Sunday Riders Club, the DHC chief pointed out that his leadership would engage in civic programs like “medical mission and operation “tuli” (circumcision).
He added they would go to far-flung areas that can be reached by their horses to carry out environmental preservation programs.
“We will maximize our resources to achieve these programs, “ Batu told sports journalists during the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum.
To ensure the success of his term as president, Batu has enlisted the full support of all the Club’s past presidents by appointing them as officers.
They are Bong Ledesma, Sally and Benedicto Lim, Jr., George W. Misa, Andrew Tan and Jeric Olaguer. Add to this list of officers Tito Sorongon, Chelo Tan, Luchie Olaguer, Albert and Carol Angel and Dean Gonzales. Likewise, he has appointed the following as directors: Mike Dizon, Vic Noble, James Velasco, Marlon Mabanag and Danny Barlis.
Last month, the new officers were sworn into office by Councilor Danny Dayanghirang representing Mayor Rodrigo Duterte at Marina Park Stables, home of the DHC.
Dayanghirang is a horse rider himself in his hometown in Davao Oriental.
The big switch from riding the iron horse to the real horse for the new president happened eight years ago when he was invited to join a trail ride by members of the then-emerging group of horse enthusiasts.
According to the businessman and bon vivant himself, the change was rather quick. The trail ride rekindled his cowboy days in General Santos where he spent his younger years.
Batu has proven himself as still the able rider and horseman, leading the pack in the toughest of trail rides and gamely competing in the Royal Category of the annual horse competition circuit of the Philippine Horsemen’s Federation.
“I love the Davao Horse Club,” Batu proudly declared, adding that apart from getting a different high from galloping on a horse, the Club is truly a family-oriented organization.
The love for the sport and the club has brought him and practically his whole family into the sport – from his wife Esperanza (Neneng) to his children and grandchildren.
Though his wife does not ride, she is known to support her husband totally in club activities while his son Petejun, daughter Melody and son-in-law Dean Gonzales have become active members.
Grandchildren Mikko, Alyssa and Nikki Boy are now also competing in horse shows.
The family maintains a stable of Arabian and half Arabian horses. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)