Sunday, August 28, 2005

Royal Team Fourth in French Challenge

ROYAL Endurance Team captain and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa finished 14th among world class riders in the Open European Endurance Championship yesterday at the Campiegne Racecourse, near Paris.

The Bahraini team finished fourth overall behind Belgium, the UAE and France who took the first three positions respectively.

Riding Herrero Dela Motte, Shaikh Nasser was among 113 riders from 31 countries in this one-day event which was over 160 kms and divided into six stages.

The first stage was over 32.8 kms, 21 kms for the second stage, 32.6 kms for the third, 20.6 kms for the fourth and 32 kms for the fifth and 21 kms for the sixth.

Shaikh Nasser completed the race in nine hours, 59 minutes and 55 seconds with an average speed of 16.54 kms per hour.

Shaikh Nasser was also the third Arab rider to finish the event after Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum who won the race in 9:11:11 while Shaikh Majed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum was third. Kristel van den Abeele of Belgium claimed runners-up position.

The Royal Team was led by Shaikh Nasser and included Breef first vice-president and Al Khaldiya Group captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Snowy River Phantom, Al Fateh Stable's Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa on Alandell Thor and Yousef Taher of the Royal Endurance Team on Izaba Du Caussanel.

The event was the first preparational phase for the Bahraini team in Europe for next year's World Championship to be held in Germany in August.

The championship, which was part of the Horse Festival of Compiegne, will conclude today with the prize-giving ceremony at the Compiegne Equestrian Stadium.

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