Thursday, November 30, 2006

Alison and K-Zar Emmanuel ride in memory of Mike

November 25 Carolina 100 Endurance Ride

Alison Bailey riding K-Zar Emmanuel at the Carolina 100. Alison's late husband Mike rode K-Zar to the AERC National 50-Mile Heavyweight Championship before he passed away from a sudden heart attack 11 days later. Alison went to the Carolina Ride to win the 50 in memory of her husband. She not only won, but K-Zar earned the Best Condition Award!

(photo by Genie Stewart-Spears)











Lois McAfee and Tonka Toi won the 100 mile division of the November 25 Carolina 100 Endurance ride.

(photo by Genie Stewart-Spears)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sultan's Cup Endurance Challege: Sabaruddin nicks it




28 Nov 2006
ZAINUDDIN MUHAMMAD

IT was first time lucky for Nik Sabaruddin and his mount As Shiffa Kassan who won the the 160km Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2006 at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong, Setiu, on Sunday.


The 53-year-old former Navy officer and his 14-year-old Arabian pure-bred, who were representing Kelantan's D'Bali Stable, won with a time of 12:38:43s to beat 22 rivals and pocket the RM10,000 winner?s cheque.

As Shiffa Kassan was also voted as the best conditioned horse in the category which came with a RM2,000 bonus.

Second place went to Datuk Abdullah Taib and his horse Blue Moon who clocked 12:49:45s, while Faizal Ismail, astride Azreal, finished third in 12:53:26.

The second and third place finishers took home RM8,000 and RM6,000 respectively. Fourth was Norlaily Buniyamin who took home RM4,000.

Other riders in the category included the Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

In the 80km event, Paul Jeffrey and his mount Jakim Zane won in a time of 05:32:35s from Amal Nadiah Tajuddin astride Rayyan who clocked 29:45s.

Third place went to Stephanie Teeter (Jakim Murphy) while Nazalisamri Nasaah (Nagawangsa) finished fourth. A total of 120 riders competed in the two-day event.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Equestrian Endurance at Asian Games




Equestrian endurance at Asian Games (Reuters)

29 November 2006

Factbox on the equestrian endurance event, which will feature for the first time at the Asian Games in Doha between Dec. 1 and 15:

WHAT IS THE ENDURANCE EVENT?

· Endurance riding is an extremely strenuous form of horse racing which tests the speed and endurance of a horse. It involves racing at controlled speeds over distances of many tens of kilometres. During the 15th Asian Games, the endurance course will cover 120 km.

· A good endurance horse is characterised by balanced body structure, relatively light weight and a strong back. Any breed can compete but Arabians, endowed with natural stamina, generally dominate at the top levels. Most importantly, the horse?s temperament must suit the rider.
HISTORY

· Wendell Robie, an American breeder of Arabian horses, is credited as the pioneer of the modern sport of endurance riding. In 1955, he founded the founded the Western States Trail Ride, a 160-km, one-day ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California, via an old Pony Express route.

· Endurance was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and was recognised as an official discipline by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) in 1983. The sport makes it Asian Games debut in Doha.
RULES

· An endurance ride is a competition against the clock. The horse that finishes the course in the shortest time wins. The winning team is the one with the best time after adding the classifications of the three highest placed competitors.

· Horses must be at least six years old to qualify. Competitions are held in phases, with no phase longer than 40 km. When the condition of a horse is assessed at the end of each phase, its heart rate must be no higher than 64 beats per minute.

· FEI guidelines state that the course should not contain more than 10 percent of hard surface roads intended for vehicular traffic. Also, the most demanding part of the course should not be near the finish.

Sources: Reuters; Doha Asian Games Web site (www.doha-2006.com); FEI (www.horsesport.org)
[Khaleej Times]

Monday, November 27, 2006

UAE: Al Bloushi completes hat-trick of wins

Dubai: Yousuf Ahmad Al Bloushi from the Al Reef Stables registered a hat-trick of wins for the all-conquering stables here yesterday.

Yousuf, the UAE's top trainer and third-best rider on points, and Al Reef Stables, last season's top stables which belongs to Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, scored their third straight win of the current UAE season.

Yousuf, who trained the winning horses in the Boudthib Junior Ride and the First Gulf Bank Challenge ride in Al Wathba last week, emerged as winner with a superb display of riding in the Dubai Equestrian Club's 120-km ride yesterday.

[More ...]

Friday, November 24, 2006

UAE: Endurance season gets under



By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter

Dubai: The Dubai Equestrian Club's endurance season, which kicks off today at the Dubai International Endurance City, will also feature an innovative addition - Dubai Endurance Challenge for whole the season.

Announcing details at a press conference, Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Vice President of the Dubai Equestrian Club, said today's inaugural ride sponsored by Dubai World will carry a total prize money of Dh700,000.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Endurance Challenge unveiled yesterday, is also worth Dh700,000 and will take into account all FEI rides staged at the Dubai International Endurance City for the 2006-2007 season.

During the season Riders, Trainers, Horses and Stables will earn points depending on their finishing position in the selected rides.

At the end of the season the highest point scorers will be crowned the Dubai Endurance Challenge Champion Rider, Trainer, Horse and Stable respectively.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Chairman, Dubai World, who is also a top rider, said, "Support for any equestrian sport comes naturally to us in the UAE. This is particularly so when it comes to events featuring Arab Purebred horses. These noble animals are a part of our cultural identity. Dubai World is especially proud to be sponsoring the opening race in this year's Endurance calendar and we look forward to enjoying the show."

Saeed Humaid Al Tayer said, "We value the support of each of our sponsors who help to make each of the races a reality. The sport is closely linked to the culture and heritage of the people of the United Arab Emirates and we invite everyone to attend the races at the Dubai International Endurance City to enjoy the spectacle that is Endurance racing."

Meanwhile, Al Reef Stables will be looking to complete a hat-trick in today's 120-km CEI Three Star ride.

They won the first two rides of the season held in Abu Dhabi and will be strongly represented in today's 100-plus line-up of starters.
Gulf News

Shaikha Madiya Leading the way

Young Shaikha Madiya bint Hasher Al Maktoum has many achievements to her credit. She proudly wears the mantle of the rich sports legacy of the ruling Maktoum family, is an accomplished horse rider and a fitness enthusiast as well. She speaks to Sue Steven in an exclusive interview.

Shaikha Madiya bint Hasher Al Maktoum, the niece of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is at ease in the place she loves most ? the Maktoum stable, located 37 kilometres from Dubai. Not forgetting her roots, she has a very modern outlook to life and is at ease talking to Weekend. A very down-to-earth person, she is comfortable wearing blue jeans, a white full sleeve shirt with the colours of the UAE flag on one of the sleeves and a cap with 77, her lucky number, embroidered on it. She sits on a wooden bench outside one of the buildings with her two dogs, Lily and Stinky who keep a close watch on her.

Shaikha Madiya is a very strong advocate of fitness and exercise. She has endorsed The Middle East Fitness Summit ? MEFIT06, scheduled to take place in Hall 4 at the Dubai World Trade Centre from November 27-29. The summit is part of Sportex, the largest sports, fitness and leisure show in the Middle East.

?Women have to make fitness a part of their daily routine. There is a dire need for education in health and fitness. I feel the Fitness Summit is a very relevant initiative to address a lot of topics, concerns and myths associated with health and fitness,? she says, as she urges women in the UAE to be conscious of their physical well-being.

?RPM and Bodycombat are my favourites,? the Shaikha adds without hesitation.

RPM, part of the Les Mills programme, is the indoor cycling workout where you ride to the rhythm of powerful music. You take on the terrain with an inspiring coach who leads the team through hills, flats, mountain peaks, time trials, and interval training. ?You can discover your athlete within ? sweat and burn to reach your endorphin high. You can cycle for 45 minutes or 60 minutes,? she says.

Bodycombat, on the other hand, is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic programme is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, you can strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness.

Shaikha Madiya practises what she preaches. She herself is very particular about her fitness routine on a daily basis especially running and jogging. She is up at 4.30am in the morning and by 5.30am is training her horses. In the afternoon, at 2.30pm, she again takes them out and trains them for endurance.

The Shaikha does not hide her passion for horses. She is very vocal about it. ?Initially my family was worried that I would get hurt while riding. So I started being involved in this sport only after I completed 16 years. I learnt at my uncle?s stable. He supports me and helped me train for endurance.?

She speaks out of experience: ?If you are a horse person you will know the language of the horses. You can talk to them and play with them. You have to change their mind to endure the sport. If they hate what they are doing, they will not do it well.?
She welcomes national women to participate in the sport. ?My stables are open to national women who would like to pursue the sport, ride and learn,? she says.

Horse breaking, sometimes called starting or gentling, refers to the process used by humans to get horses to let themselves be ridden or harnessed. Before such a learning process is accomplished, a horse will normally reject attempts to ride it. Once it has accepted basic handling by humans, additional forms of training can be used to teach the horse any number of specialised skills.

Presently Shaikha Madiya has 49 horses in her stable that were brought from the US. ?They have to get used to the ground and to the heat. It is a slow, step-by-step process,? she adds.

How long does it take to train a horse? She says, ?Every horse is different and so the time of training also differs. Some horses even get injured during training. You have to win them over and by two years break them, which means put the saddle and bridle on them. They learn to have human contact as the rider sits on it. Endurance training takes place after the horse completes five years.?

While training horses, the trainer is learning as well. Shaikha Madiya has firsthand experience of taking care of her horses. ?Experience is invaluable. Every time you ride, you learn something new from the horse. It has been 10 years since I started, and I am still learning,? she admits, frankly.


Shaikha Madiya could be compared to a horse whisperer, a horse trainer who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse. She admits that she loves the challenge to rehabilitate horses that have become vicious and difficult.

?I love crazy horses as you have to fix them. I take the horses to different race courses like Nae Al Sheba. They enjoy the experience. She uses GPRS that specifies the location and even has an instrument to monitor her heart rate.

How is endurance racing different in the UAE? In the UAE, it is speed that matters, the Shaikha says. The ground is just flat, not hard. In the US, the ground is hard, so one can?t go fast. If you do, you get hurt. In the US, each race is different as the terrain is different like mountains, hills and flat areas.

She advises national women to join some kind of sport. ?If not every day, find time for at least three times a week for physical activity. It is good for your body and mind.?

Shaikha Madiya hails from a family of six children, four girls and two boys. Her sister is in the volleyball team of Al Wasl while her brother loves shooting. ?I love challenges, horses, fitness, everything,? she says.

In future, she would like to be a fitness instructor and help other local women. She strongly believes that a healthy body will have a healthy mind and raising awareness about nutrition is paramount. ?I teach my niece to eat in a healthy way. As a result, she refuses junk food now,? Shaikha Madiya says with pride.
When asked where she gets her energy from, she says that she sleeps early and gets up early. Shaikha Madiya strongly believes in the ?early to bed, early to rise philosophy,? that supports her fitness initiatives.

Khaleej Times Article

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spotlight will be on Majid and Hazza



Published: 18/11/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)

By M Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are part of a nearly 100-strong line-up for today's 120-km First Gulf Bank Challenge endurance ride.

The 120-km ride is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.

Other top riders in the five-stage ride which gets off to a 6am start include Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Shaikha Madiya Hasher Mana Al Maktoum.

Riders from the Al Reef Stables, the champion stable of last season will be looking to add to their triumph in the junior ride last week.

Other consistent performers in the fray are last year's top domestic rider Marzooq Salem Al Merri, Yousuf Ahmad Al Bloushi, Ali Mohammad Al Muhairi, Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed and Spain's Jesus Manuel Berna.

A strong team of riders from Uruguay along with riders from India, Pakistan, Australia, Great Britain, France Saudi Arabia, Canada, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also in the fray.



[article website]

Friday, November 17, 2006

Drought cause tough ride conditions

photo: EQUAL AT FINISH: Pat Dickinson (left) and Noble Navaar Crystal Rose and John Symons and Worobil Baringa who crossed the line together at Sofala on Sunday.

Mudgee News: Friday, 17 November 2006

Mudgee riders had mixed results when the participated in the 30th Sofala Endurance Ride last Sunday.

The 52 riders in the 80klm main ride started off in daylight at 5.30am without the need for torches and headlamps but some of the Mudgee contingent made a late start after they missed their wake up call.

Word is kangaroos caused havoc in the camp overnight and kept them awake and by the time the alarm went off they we sound asleep.

Riders appreciated a well marked track and the humid conditions that developed as the day wore on were tempered by colder conditions with good clud cover.

The course was testing, however, with many climbs and descents on the mountain made difficult where it was rocky while the drought conditions ensured conditions were hard underfoot.

The conditions may have proved too much for Gloria Mills and her mount Glendos Sabodie as they had to withdraw at Wattle Flat when making the return stage of the first leg.

Mills, who has had a super year with her horse and will be the Mudgee club's top middleweight for the year despite Sunday's setback, said she withdrew because she felt the horse wasn 't travelling well.

Those Mudgee riders who did have a good result were Bernice King (Noble Navaar Destiny), Pat Dickinson (Nobla Navaar Crystal Rose and Paddy Smith (Shata) who were all successful in the long ride.

Daphne Phillips enjoyed the return to endurance of her former ride winner Crown Crest Phantom whom she steered around the training ride.

Wendy McLehose (Bruwenic Raina Girl) enjoyed the training ride with her eight year old son Nicholas (Bruwenic Strawberry) who was in his first ride.

Nicholas was so excited at finishing the ride that he was talking of another ride next week.

Another debut rider was Virginia King (Kalentish Tips) who enjoyed her initial endurance experience.

Woody Pilley (Mystery) had a flock of junior riders in tow for the event in his sons Justin (Box Hill Breaker) and Blake (Meroo Downs Dolly) and was also accompanied by the boys' friend Seaton Croake (Reggie) making the ride an enjoyable family event. All these riders completed the 30 klms training ride, which had 33 participants.

In the overall result four riders crossed the line in an equal fastest time of 4 hours 29 minutes.

They were Kate Pilley of Windeyer riding Pancho who was first in lightweight; Jamie Mollema of Bathurst riding Billywillinga Rocky who was first junior and Jennifer Gilbertson of Webbs Creek who shared first middleweight.

Fittest horse in the catchweight (a combination of lightweight and junior divisions) division was Pancho.

The ride was a great success with organisers especially pleased with the number of junior and first time riders taking part a boost for the future of the sport.
Website article

FEI President Presents 150-day Report to FEI Bureau




On the occasion of the FEI Bureau meeting taking place in Dubai on 17 and 18 November, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein delivered her 150 days-in-office Report. Its objective was to present the progress made against the FEI PresidentÂ?s election Manifesto and its translation into policy and tangible benefits.

The Report covered the six pillars of the Manifesto

Significant developments have been achieved in many areas.

This is an interim news release which represents the general course the FEI is taking. A more detailed release on the various items presented to the Bureau will be published after the meeting.

Full Article

Horse centre gallops ahead




CONSTRUCTION work on the new Scottish National Equestrian Centre at Oatridge by Ecclesmachan is expected to be completed by December 15.
And early in the new year, on a date still to be confirmed, a free open day will be held to allow clubs, groups and individual riders to try the best facilities in Scotland for themselves.
SNEC director Carson Jones said: "We've had tremendous support from equestrians all over Scotland since the inception of the project so, in part, the open day will be our way of saying thanks to them.
"It will also give us an early opportunity to test our booking system and our organisation, but most importantly, it will allow riders to come in and see for themselves just how good ? and how big ? the centre actually is."
Carson and his team have drawn up a programme of international events for the £3.5 million facility. However, they are just as keen to finalise the regular, day-to-day use of the centre, including the new pro wax surface, installed by Andrew Bowen and endorsed by some of the UK's top riders.
Mondays have been earmarked for open schooling sessions, for as little as £10 a head; Tuesdays will be for dog training; Wednesdays for unaffiliated showjumping; Thursdays for Pony Clubs and members; and Fridays possibly for unaffilated dressage.
Events already lined up for 2007 include a major Scottish Equestrian Association event in January; a visit by former Pat Parelli trainer Bruce Logan from Texas in February; British Vaulting's international team selection in March; the Pony Club annual conference and Scottish Spring Show in April; Welsh Pony Society Show in May; Oatridge Horse Trials in June; western riding show in July; British Show Pony Society event in August; and an FEI Endurance 2 Star event in September.
Carson added: "These events are just a taste of what's to come. The calendar is filling up rapidly with equestrian and non-equestrian events.
"We're also lining up a lot of club competitions and as more SEA members realise that they can hire the facilities for as little as £510 for the day, we expect many more. As if that isn't enough, we're also planning a gala opening event. You could say the Scottish National Equestrian Centre is off and running!"
To register for a trial schooling session, call centre events manager Richard Negus on 01506 864800.

editorial@journalandgazette.co.uk
17 November 2006
website article

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Madiya pleased with strides made in health for UAE women



(photo:Regi Varghese/Gulf News -
Shaikha Madiya Bint Hasher Al Maktoum with her horse Jad Al Khar in Dubai. )

By Alaric Gomes, Staff Reporter

Dubai: The captain of the UAE women's endurance team is pleased with the drastic changes taking place in the world of women's fitness since the past few years.

"It's really amazing to see so many health and fitness clubs and programmes exclusively dedicated for women in the UAE," stated Shaikha Madiya Bint Hasher Al Maktoum in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

"A few years back there were maybe a few health clubs or absolutely nothing for women here. But this is no longer the case as so many new clubs and facilities have come up exclusively with the modern-day woman in mind," Shaikha Madiya stated.

As the captain of the UAE women's endurance squad, Shaikha Madiya has lent her support for Mefit06 - the Middle East Health and Fitness Summit scheduled to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from November 27-29.

"I believe in staying healthy, and the best way to do so is to participate in sports," Shaikha Madiya said. The Middle East Health and Fitness Summit will be held alongside Sportex 2006.

"I used to be overweight. But I saw the importance of keeping healthy and got involved with certain fitness programmes which have helped me reduce weight and stay focused on my endurance riding," Shaikha Madiya stated.

Mefit06 has invited prominent fitness personalities including Malcolm Geluk, Kerry Hill, Steve Renata, Rob Richards and Susan Tolj.

"The conception for fitness especially among women has changed quite a bit in the past two of three years. This is for the best, and I feel it will get much better in the near future," Shaikha Madiya observed.

"There are so many themed fitness programmes keeping women in mind," she added.

Being in a physically demanding sport like endurance riding, the UAE skipper knows she has to keep to a high level of fitness. This starts very early in the day with rising time fixed for 4am every day.

"I have a couple of personal favourite fitness programmes like the RPM and body compact. These help me and complement my sports activities," she stated.

"As a sportswoman, my challenge would be to convince women to keep healthy. I am speaking from personal experience. If one is healthy, then one is also happy.

"Healthy living is so crucial to our general state of happiness," Shaikha Madiya said.

"I will attend the Mefit06 exhibition and endorse it," she added.
Gulf News Article

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Malaysia: Riders out to defy the odds


(photo: SULTAN MIZAN: The Terengganu Sultan will be competing in the endurance event a few days before taking office as the country's 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13)

By LOGANATH VELLOO

THE National Sports Council (NSC) have not rated the equestrian team as medal prospects in the Doha Asian Games.

But this will not stop the 16-member squad from aiming to secure medals for the third consecutive Asiad.

The dressage team (silver) and Quzier Ambak (bronze in the individual showjumping) returned with medals from Bangkok in 1998 while the showjumping team cantered to the bronze at the Busan Games in 2002.

In Doha, the charge for honours will be led by Qabil Ambak, one of three members of the squad with two Asian Games medals in their name. The others are his elder brother, Quzier, and Syed Omar Al-Mohdzar.

Qabil is also on a personal mission to do well in Doha to make up for his miserable outing in Busan.

Despite securing a bronze in the showjumping team event, the 2001 National Sportsman of the Year would rather forget his Busan exploits.

His problems started when his mount, Camelias, was denied entry by the South Korean authorities after failing a medical test.

And Qabil was injured while training at the competition venue. He was thrown off and stepped on by his replacement horse, Humphreys.

The injury affected Qabil's medal hopes in the individual events and also forced him to relinquish his duties as the country's flag bearer during the opening ceremony.

"At the last Asian Games, everything went wrong even before I landed in Busan.

"This time, I am more aware of the situations that might occur and will take the necessary precautions," said Qabil from his training base in Belgium.

"I will be competing in four events in Doha ? the dressage and showjumping individual and team events. Having won a silver and a bronze, I have now set my sights on the gold."

He admitted that it would take a herculean effort from the Malaysian riders to make the podium in Qatar.

"With horses, a lot of factors, including the conditions during the day of the competition, will determine our chances to win," he said.

"I hope everything goes well for Malaysia and that the equestrian competition is run in a fair and friendly manner in Doha."

It has not been all smooth sailing for Qabil in his preparations for Doha.

His two favourite horses, Camelias and Opium Metado, died in June and August respectively.

This has forced him to rely on a new mount, Parvina.

"It was hard to lose two of my best partners as I had years of partnership with them," he said.

"I just got Parvina at the beginning of the year and I am working hard to bond with her.

"I am glad that despite the short period of time, my new partnership seems to be going well."

Qabil also admitted that the short acclimatisation period for the horses could turn out to be a problem for Malaysia's chances in the competitions.

There had been plans to send the horses to Doha earlier but the idea was scrapped due to the high maintenance costs involved.

"My horses will leave from Europe on Nov 27 and there is only a week to acclimatise before the competition starts," he said.

"It would be tough as the current climate in Europe is much colder than the Middle East.

"It might affect some horses but I hope they can manage the temperature change well."

Also in the squad is Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who will be competing at the Asian Games a few days before taking office as the country's 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13.

The Terengganu Sultan is one of six Malaysian riders for the endurance events together with Shamsudin Roni, Mohd Izry Razali, Mohd Rino Rani, Norlaily Buniyamin and Rahmat Azman.

website

Al Faresi wins Heritage Club Cup

M. Satya Narayan
Gulf News
(photo: Winners of the Emirates Heritage Club Cup, Rashed Salem Mohammad Al Faresi and Naser Khamis Ali Saeed at the Bou Thib endurance village in Abu Dhabi.)
Abu Dhabi: Sixteen-year-old Rashed Salem Mohammad Al Faresi won the Emirates Heritage Club Cup 100-km endurance ride for juniors to give Al Reef Stables the perfect start to the new season.

Al Reef, who emerged the leading stable last season along with leading trainer Yousuf Ahmad Al Bloushi combined in Rashed Salem's success as the young rider chalked out his first career win after learning the hard way last season.

Rashed Salem rode Glenleigh Saphire to victory in the four-stage 100km event and it was on the same horse that he had finished third last season but failed to clear the final vet check.
After 26 started in the season's first competitive event, Rashed Salem in fact finished second, almost six minutes behind Sultan Ahmad Al Bloushi. But the latter seemed to have pushed his horse Elphyn Shuvara a little bit too hard and it failed the final vet check.

But Rashed Salem's horse cleared the vet check and finally the fact that he paced his horse well seemed to have got him the desired success.

Both Sultan and Rashed had been battling as leaders over the first three stages of 30km, 30kms and 24kms. Going into the final stage it was Rashed who started off first, followed by another Al Reef rider Naser Khamis Ali Saeed with Sultan Ahmad about five minutes behind the leader in third place.

Sultan, however picked up pace and finished ahead of the Al Reef duo but the effort seemed to take its toll on the horse's condition.

Naser Khamis Ali Saeed on Talisman Tobis finished second to make it a 1-2 finish for Al Reef while Britain's Kimberley Dean finished third. "Last season I was disqualified after finishing third on the same horse so I was a little more careful on the final loop," said Rashed Salem.

"The weather was good in the morning but during the final loop it was a bit testing. But my horse stayed in good shape," said the first-time winner. Trainer Yousuf Ahmad Al Bloushi said he was thrilled to start with a win. "We had a good season and I hope to do well again this season," said the man who looks after the Al Ain operations of Al Reef.

"I have about 40 horses and some of them should go on to do well," said Yousuf.

In the 44-km Federation Qualifier, 32 riders including Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan qualified while in the 80-km event, 14 riders met the qualification parameters laid down by the Federation.

website - full article

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Shaikh Nasser races to victory

Gulf Daily News
SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa was crowned champion of the 100-km Season Opening Endurance Horseride Championship, organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

Rising rider Abdulla Al Khatri won the junior division title which was also over 100 kms after some stiff competition from top entrants from Bahrain and the GCC.

Both the senior and junior races were divided into four stages with 30 kms each for the first two stages. The third stage was over 25 kms while the fourth and final sector consisted of 15 kms.

[More ...]

Gulf News: Junior Ride to kick start season



Published: 11/11/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)
Staff Report

Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Heritage Club Cup for Juniors will kick start the UAE's competitive endurance season here today at the Bouthib Endurance Village in Al Khatem, Abu Dhabi.

Though a couple of Qualifier rides and a Ladies ride have already been held by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, today's 100-km event is the first of the FEI rides with a CEI Two Star rating.

Two Qualifier rides, one over 80 kms and the other over 44kms, will also be run today. All three rides are jointly organised by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation and the Emirates Heritage Club.

Over 30 youngsters have already confirmed their participation in the 100-km, CEI Two-Star ride, which will get off to a mass start at 5.30am. The ride will be run in four loops of 30, 30, 24 and 16 km respectively.

Among those in the fray are Shaikh Abdullah Bin Faisal Al Qasimi, Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Faisal Al Qasimi, Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Shaikh Majid Bin Saud Al Mulla, Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha, Mansour Suhail Al Kuwaiti, Saeed Almur Saeed Bin Helweh, Hussain Ali Mohammad Yousuf Marzouqi.

Several other riders to take part in the ride are Ahmad Salem Ali Sultan Al Subaisi, Omair Hussain Abdullah Al Bloushi, Ahmad Ali Abdullah Jamoh Al Yahyaei, Mohammad Khamis Al Wali Al Naqbi, Sultan Ahmad Al Bloushi, Dahi Abdullah Khamis Al Dahi.

The Qualifier rides, which are held at regular intervals by the Federation, help in the horses and riders qualifying themselves for rides of longer distances and tougher parameters.

All the three rides are held under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club.

Apart from this endurance venue, competitive rides will also be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba and the Dubai Endurance City in Seih Assalam.
(Gulf News)

Friday, November 10, 2006

UAE Endurance Season: Moving on

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Report


(photo:Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, emerged joint winners at the National Day Cup Endurance ride in Dubai Endurance City last year.)



His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Al Reef Stables will once again aim to dominate the domestic endurance season, which starts Saturday.

Shaikh Mohammad emerged as the top owner with a total of 5,840 points during the 2005-06 season, while Al Reef Stables, which sent out most of the winners, emerged as the leading endurance stable.

Ro Fabiola of Al Wathba Stables garnered the maximum points to finish as the top horse of last season while the top rider was Marzooq Salem Al Merri with 999 points.

Yousuf Ahmad Al Bloushi had a great season when he emerged as the top individual trainer representing Al Reef Stables while also finishing second in the rider's category.

Today's opening ride and two other qualifier rides are being held at Bouthib Endurance Stables and the season will soon enter the big stage when some of the top riders from all over the world come here to compete.

The UAE has over the last few years been a major training ground for some of the top riders who prepare for both their own national as well as continental and world championships.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bahrain: Endurance event set for off



SEVENTY-FOUR riders from Bahrain and the GCC are set for the Season Opening Endurance Horseride Championship scheduled for today at 4.30pm at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and event patron Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will lead 43 riders in the senior race which will be over 100-km.

The race will be divided into four stages with 30-km each for the first two stages. The third stage is over 25-km, while 15km is set for the final stage.

There will be another race for juniors which is over 100km with 18 riders in the fray. There will also be two warm-up races over 60km and 85km. The warm up races will be organised to qualify young and adult riders who are new to this sport.
Gulf Daily News

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thrilling sprint finish to endurance ride


MORE than 100 riders, their family and spectators gathered at Green Valley farm recently for the final endurance ride event of the year.

This was the fourth year at this ride base and once again it proved popular.

On the Saturday afternoon 11 horse and rider combinations set off on the 10km social ride.

Bob Watters, Rosie Long, Stacey Walls, Jack Fryer, Sarah Dickens, and Stephanie Kramer were local riders who enjoyed the scenic track through private property.

It was a successful event with 100 per cent of the riders passing the final veterinary check, and being awarded certificates of completion at presentation.

A large field of horses and riders started out in the dark the following morning armed with torches for the first 50km leg of the endurance ride.

The training riders followed just after daybreak.

The weather was perfect with a chill in the air and overcast skies prevailing throughout much of the day.

The track went through joining private properties and Mt Toppa State Forest.

The track covered varied terrain with some hills to climb, creeks to cross and flat country to canter over.

Riders seemed to enjoy the ride through the local countryside, appreciating the well-marked and slashed track.

There was an 89 per cent completion rate in the 40km training ride. The only local rider was Suzanne McLachlan, who successfully rode a dark bay pony gelding known as Pipin.

Young Simon Blackly from Uralla, riding Steel The Thunder, was awarded the training ride encouragement award donated by Campbell Brothers Inverell.

The riders did a fantastic job looking after their horses, with an 81 per cent completion score in the 80km endurance ride an improvement on last year).

For the fourth year not one horse required invasive treatment.

It was a thrilling end to the 80km endurance ride with four riders galloping into base, all aiming to be the winner.

Wayne McKinnon, crossed the finish line by a nose, only to collapse and fall from his horse onto the ground. His body had cramped up from the strain of the ride.

His time of 4hr 18min was a record.

Wayne was presented with the perpetual Winners Cup at presentation.

Other results ? first middleweight rider: Wayne McKinnon (riding Dunbar Lexus).

Best conditioned middleweight horse award: Tami Parnell (Genet Zac).

First heavyweight rider: Selwyn Nix (Dunbar Mahadik).

Best conditioned heavyweight horse award: John Davidson (Heatherbrook Knight Rider).

First junior rider: Breonie McLennon (Desert Sand).

First lightweight rider: Terri Anderson (Ashwind).

Best conditioned lightweight horse award: Angela Hawks (Sikis Keeper).

Special mention to young Stacey Walls, of Inverell, who completed her first 80km endurance ride.

Helena South, also from Inverell, started the ride, but, unfortunately, her mare vetted out as lame during the ride.

Each best conditioned horse received a horse rug sponsored by the New England Credit Union, while the first three placegetters in each division were presented with towels sponsored by Harris Seeds, Inverell.

Best managed novice horse in the 80km endurance ride was Shardell Shahbarnah, ridden by an international rider from Japan, Sachiko Murai.

The horse's owner was pleased to receive the bags of horse feed donated by Gilgai Rural Supplies.

Helen South won the Baker's Barn local rider draw, while Jenny Annetts was runner-up for the bag of feed donated by Landmark, Inverell.

Terri Anderson's Arabian mare won a free service to the stallion River Oak Fame, owned by John and Sue Bell, of Coolatai.

The KFC Family Feasts volunteer vouchers were handed to Stacy Whiteman and Nicholas McGrath.

The State of Origin teams event proved to be popular this year.

The Girls and Gavin team of four riders were successful in being awarded the perpetual clock trophy.

Jenny Annetts, Tami Parnell, Sasha Laws King and Gavin Groth teamed up to achieve a winning average ride time of 4hr 41min.

The After Thoughts were runners-up. Helen South, Pip Lillyman, Dean Chamberlain and Alan Standfield received a family feast voucher from KFC, Inverell.
[original story]