Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quality field for Quilty

TWO world-class riders from the United Arab Emirates headline overseas entries for the Cradle Mountain Chateau Tom Quilty Gold Cup at Sheffield next month.

The Tom Quilty, Australia's premier equine endurance event, will be held over a challenging 160km course, starting at midnight on June 10.

Abdullah Kharis Ali Saeed, a former world record-holder, and Uousef Ahmed Al Bloushi will be the two Arab riders in a field of more than 120. There will also be five Japanese riders and one from the United States.

The Arabs, American and one of the Japanese will ride horses supplied by Toft Endurance from Queensland.

Ali Saeed has already competed in a Quilty, and is the first Middle East rider to get a Tom Quilty completion buckle when he placed seventh at the 2000 event.

He is ranked as one of the best endurance riders in the world.

In 2000, he won the inaugural 160km H.H. The President of the UAE Millennium Cup in the UAE, breaking the world record for the distance in a time of seven hours, 49 minutes, 13 seconds.

However according to Peter Toft, of Toft Endurance, who is supplying his mount Abdullah "will ride to suit the conditions", ensuring he is a serious contender on the Sheffield circuit.

His mount, BBP Electra Murdoch is now ranked Australia's No.1 endurance horse.

Murdoch carried Toft in the Tom Quilty Gold Cup in South Australia last year, where they won first heavyweight and heavyweight best conditioned.

Al Bloushi finished third in the FEI national championships on his first trip to Australia last year.

Three-time winner Victorian Meg Wade and last year's joint winner Joyce Corbett, of Queensland, will also participate.

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