Saturday, July 08, 2006

Rashid and Ahmad eager to get going at Euston Park




By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter


Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum will be looking to just complete today's 160-km three-star endurance ride in Euston Park in UK.

Both the UAE riders have already qualified for the World Equestrian Games' (WEG) endurance event, to be held in Aachen next month. But today's 160-km event is important for Shaikh Rashid and Shaikh Ahmad as it will be their third 160-km event before the World Championship.

If both the riders complete today's event then they will be eligible to choose any one of the 12 horses that have qualified from the UAE.

If they do not complete the three 160-km three star events then they will have to ride the same horse with which they have completed one of the other two rides.

Shaikh Rashid recently won the 160-km three Star event in Gubbio, Italy while Shaikh Ahmad had finished fourth in the 160-km three-star event in Cirencester ride last month.

Apart from Shaikh Rashid and Shaikh Ahmad - who is the defending champion after having won the gold medal at the WEG in Jerez, Spain - Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum and Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum will also be riding today, but in the 120-km three star event.

Shaikh Hamdan and Shaikh Majid, along with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, have already qualified in the open section with victories in three 160-km rides already.

Shaikh Majid has already tasted success in the European circuit this season, winning the 160-km three-star event in Peruggia, Italy, last month.

Apart from these top riders, quite a strong contingent of UAE riders will be in the fray in this Kings Forest event at Euston Park.

The UAE horses that have been named for the August 21 Endurance Championship in the World Equestrian Games in Aachen are also expected to use today's 120-km event as preparation.

"This is an important ride for the UAE and we are hoping that Shaikh Rashid and Shaikh Ahmad complete," said Esmail Mohammad, trainer of endurance horses for Shaikh Mohammad.

"The horses have all been doing well since they were shifted from Dubai after the UAE season and most of them will be having an outing today," said the trainer.

The endurance horses from the UAE have been based in New Market and have been taking part in the rides in Europe ahead of the WEG to be held in Germany.

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