Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Top GCC riders are disqualified

THREE top riders from Bahrain and the UAE were disqualified after their respective horses failed the veterinary examination at the 160-km endurance race in Saint Galmeir in Paris late last night.

Bahrain's Al Khaldiya Stables team leader Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa was eliminated just before the start of the sixth and last stage, after his horse failed the medical examination. Another Bahraini rider Shaikh Salman bin Sager Al Khalifa could not proceed beyond the third stage.

UAE's top rider Khamis Al Rumaithi's horse also failed the medical check-up before the commencement of the final stage resulting in his elimination after an impressive performance.

The UAE's delegation sent their objections to this decision to the International Equestrian Federation urging them to re-check the horse which failed the test.

The first stage which was for 35km saw 100 riders starting the race with Al Rumaithi finishing in first place.

Shaikh Khalid finished the opening stage astride Vialettes in 25th place. Shaikh Salman bin Sager riding Delanize finished 42nd, Khalid Al Ruwaie came in 45th place on De Paute and Yousif Taher finished in 46th place on D Jid.

The UAE's riders continued to lead in the second stage in which Shaikh Khalid jumped to 22nd place.

The third stage showed no changes in the leaders with UAE taking the first and second places, while Shaikh Khalid came in 16th place. His teammate Shaikh Salman bin Sager was 28th, Khalid Al Ruwaie 40th and Yousif Taher 43rd.

Shaikh Khalid went behind one place to finish 17th in the fourth stage. Shaikh Salman bin Sager's horse was eliminated from the race at this stage, while UAE's riders remained in the lead.

The fifth stage saw the elimination for Shaikh Khalid who finished in the 24th place.

In the final stage, French rider Jack Pigo came first after the elimination for UAE's Al Rumaithi, while another Frenchman Simon Belot came second and Alan Lyon finished third.

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