Sunday, June 18, 2006

Riders fail endurance challenge

BAHRAIN's Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the four-member Bahraini team were disqualified during the Cirencester Endurance Race yesterday in the UK.

Shaikh Nasser, who represented the Sandhurst Military Academy where he is studying, was unable to complete the 115-km four-stage event after his horse Antara failed the veterinary tests at the end of the third stage.

Bahrain's team, comprising of Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Yousef Taher, Khalid Al Ruwaihi and Hamad Al Meraisi were also disqualified for the same reason.

But Shaikh Nasser said the race was a useful experience for him as well as the Bahraini riders who are preparing for the World Championship in Germany in August.

Shaikh Daij, Taher and Al Ruwaihi all bowed out of the race after the first stage as their horses failed to pass the veterinary tests.

Shaikh Nasser completed the first stage on top in one hour, 45 minutes and two seconds with an average speed of 16.05 kmph while Al Meraisi was third in 1:51:29.

The Breef chief and Bahrain Royal Endurance Team captain maintained his momentum to stay in the lead after the second stage with a total time of 3:53:42 and a 16.23 kmph average speed. Shaikh Nasser was followed by Al Meraisi who managed to stay in the race clocking a total of 4:12:37.

Shaikh Nasser was unfortunate not to continue his good run as he was disqualified after the third stage while Al Meraisi managed to complete the stage on top in 7:06:08.

However, Al Meraisi was disappointed after the fourth and last stage as his mount Kajo failed the veterinary test at the end of the race.

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