Wednesday, September 01, 2004

US: Abu Dhabi Arabian Nights 100

Khaleejh Times
1 Sep 2004

Shaikha Madiya sets standard

DUBAI - Shaikha Madiya bint Hasher Al Maktoum became the first UAE national lady to complete an international 160-km endurance ride recently.

The Abu Dhabi Arabian Nights, sponsored by Emirates International Endurance Village, took place in Idaho, north west USA. It was organised by Steph and John Teeter at whose range the venue was based,

For the past two months Shaikha Madiya has been training in the USA with Jan Worthington and Grace Ramsey at their stables in Illinois where they have horses owned by Dubai businessman Khalid Al Ghurair. Three of his horses took part in this ride which included the mount of Shaikha Madiya, My Rainbow Jasper, who finished in 25th place having averaged 13.64kph. During her training in the USA Shaikha Madiya has successfully completed several 80-km rides in preparation for this, her first 160-km ride.

The scenery throughout the ride was spectacular, as it passed through sections of the Oregon Trial, the route taken by the early settlers of the 1800?s in their horse wagons.

As the horses passed along the Snake River Canyon they had access to drink from the abundance of water troughs located at every 1-km. The weather was hot and previous days rains had done little to quell the clouds of dust set up by the horses.

The ride started at 06.15 just before dawn, in the light of a full moon. It was split into six legs 32-29-26-27-22-22km.

The local desert condition over undulating sandy, but occasionally rocky tracks, produced a fast ride that was the last official selection trial for the USA World Championship team.

The winner, Karen Kroon, achieved an average speed of 19.70kph, second was Susan White Hedgecock 19.66kph and third dual world champion Valerie Kanavy 19.43kph.

Of the 55 starters 35 completed, the leading international rider was Leonard Liesens Belgium 10th, 17.45kph and last to finish was Dean Conti USA 9.52kph.

The inspiration
A delighted Shaikha Madiya said ?General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is my inspiration; he has supported me in my ambition. My aim is to become a member of the UAE team and I will return to the USA next April and train and compete here throughout the summer. I have 25 horses at my stable in Dubai and have six more coming from the USA plus another six that will stay here in training.

?My goal is too encourage more UAE ladies to take up endurance and to establish a team of UAE ladies who would compete internationally.?

Shaikh Madiya has been accompanied during her time in the USA by her brother Shaikh Mana who gave her great encouragement during the ride and was an excellent crew member. At the awards presentation Mohamed Al Sayed, Chairman of Emirates International Endurance Committee, congratulated Shaikha Madiya on her outstanding success for the UAE.

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