Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Published: Wednesday, 14 December, 2005, 10:13 AM Doha Time
The Qatar Endurance racing team has reached Bahrain in a confident mood for the World Junior Endurance Championships to be held there from December 17.
Ibrahim Saeed al-Malki, the team manager and trainer said he was confident about Qatar?s chances in the event.
?We have trained hard and we hope to do well in the World Championships,? al-Malki said.
Five riders from Qatar are to take part in the event to be held in Sakhir, Bahrain. Around 153 riders are participating from 30 countries across the world and Bahrain is confident that it will host an exciting competition.
The team will be led by Qatar Endurance Committee Chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Sheikh Mohammed rides Du Park Brolga, Saad Waheed al-Kuwari rides Tison, Hamad al-Marri rides Ballistic and Sheikh Mohammed bin Nawaf al-Thani will ride Joab. Khalid Hamad al-Atiyah, the other member, rides Debonair.
Saad Waheed had performed well in Pau, France, finishing the 120km endurance championship as 2nd place. Sheikh Mohammed successfully completed the gruelling 160km endurance ride at the Dubai World Championship last January.
Endurance racing is a team effort and is a test of the horse?s condition, stamina and the rider?s intelligence. The gruelling test takes horse and rider long distances - 50 to 100 miles - over varied terrain.
Because of the rigours of the race, which is based on speed, it is done under veterinary supervision. It takes a ?pit crew? to compete in this kind of racing.
The horse will be checked for any soreness or change in attitude, pulse, respiration and other physical factors. Failure to meet any of these criteria for racing can stop a horse from completing the course.
Quarantine manager Dr Alex Atock said having 140 horses under one roof was very difficult and by achieving it Bahrain has proved its organisational skills.
?Most of the delegations have fielded six riders each which is the highest number of entrants allowed for this event,? he told the Gulf Daily News.
?With so many horses in the fray, Bahrain still managed to reduce the number of horses in each stable to give more movement for freedom around that area,? he said.
Endurance Village director Khalid Fakhro said the village was well geared and ready to host any world championship.
?The village with all its hi-tech facilities and supplies can be compared to any world class villages. The whole world will be watching the best riders competing here and the Bahrainis should be proud for hosting the event,? he said.
Fakhro said the village was built in a short time for this event. ?For the past few days, all the teams have been practicing at the village and they praised the conditions here and the overall atmosphere,? said Khalid.
By Steph - December 14, 2005
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