Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sheikha Hassa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan attends ride

Sheikha Maryam wins Al Masaood Jewellery Endurance Cup
- 22 Jan 2007
Sheikha Maryam bint Omer Al Qassimi rode to a thumping victory in the 80-km FEI CEI Two-star Al Masaood Jewellery Endurance Cup held on Friday, January 19, 2007 at the Al Asayel Endurance Centre, Sweihan, Abu Dhabi. She finished the ride in a timing of 3 hours 28 minutes and 45 seconds riding on an average speed of 22.99 kmph. The ride was part of the three-round Asayl Ladies Championship.

Sheikha Maryam partnered 10-year-old Anglo Arab Grey Gelding Kalkadoon Kampala, owned by Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qassimi.

hough Sheikha Madiya Hasher Manan Al Maktoum crossed the finish line first, her horse Huzie D Ax was eliminated after the final vet check. As many as 31 ladies had a mass start at 6. 30 am and 13 of them completed the ride.

Second place went to Spanish rider Maria Alvarez Ponton who rode 11-year-old Grey Gelding Agecroft Jos on an average speed of 22.90 kmph to complete the distance in three hours, 29 minutes and 35 seconds. Third place went to Layla Abdul Aziz Al Radha who rode Darling Du Couderc and took a time of 3 hours, 56 minutes and 31 seconds and rode on an average speed of 20.29 kmph.

The ride was attended by Sheikha Hassa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan, mother of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikha bint Saif Al Nahyan, wife of His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, who gave away the prizes and the trophies to the winning ladies said: "I am very pleased to see all the young girls coming together and participating in the endurance ride in one arena. We like to encourage young ladies to train themselves in endurance and expect larger participation in the future." She thanked Dr. Sheikh Sultan for his continuous guidance and support for the young ladies.

Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan al Nahyan, Manager of the Al Asayl Endurance Centre, which organized the ride in cooperation with the UAE Equestrian Federation, said: "This is good beginning for the Emirati lady riders who sometimes find it difficult to ride along with men. There were lot of requests from young lady riders for a separate ride just for women and Al Asayl decided to organize this three round championship. We hope to get more participants for the future rides."

Sheikha Alyazia who also rode in the championship decided to retire at Gate 2 keeping "the health of the horse in mind." However she was quite happy that her sister Sheikh Hissa bint Sultan al Nahyan finished in the fourth place. She said they are looking forward to organize rides in bigger scale and are open to suggestions.

A beaming and excited Sheikha Maryam who finished in the first place said that though she had been riding for the last seven years she had never taken part in a championship ride. "When I started off today, I was confident of finishing in the first place but had doubts." Her happiness was double fold as her sister Sheikha Hissa bint Omer Al Qassimi had also successfully completed the ride in the eighth place. She said the course was very rough and challenging and posed a real endurance test for the riders and the horses. Sheikha Maryam has taken a temporary break from studies at HCT to manage Dahaisa Stables in Ras Al Khaimah.

Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha is not new to endurance riding. She has participated in several international championships with good success rate. She said she took part in the Al Asayl Championship for the 'beautiful experience it provided."

Other ladies who complete the 80-km ride are:

4. Sheikha Hissa bint Sultan Al Nahyan, Salashil, 4 hours, six minutes, 19 seconds
5. Brenda Cooke, Sazeldean Falaan, 4 hours, six minutes, 25 seconds 6. Mari Gallicu, Mutafawq, 4 hours, 7 minutes, 20 seconds
7. Muna Alhai Abdul Aziz Alhai, Highland View Mckilfop, 4 hours, 12 minutes, 20 seconds
8. Sheikha Hissa bint Omar Al Qassimi, Bartimaeis, 4 hours, 12 minutes, 21 seconds
9. Sue Sidebottom, Saphire de Sinuhe, 4 hours, 14 minutes, 20 seconds
10. Martha Mary Misheff, Zad Al Khyr, 4 hours, 17 minutes 40 seconds
11. Dac Deruy, Tasia, 4hours, 21 minutes and 10 seconds
12. Daniele Winker, Eurales Joice, 4 hours, 50 minutes, 29 seconds

The day also witnessed 40-km Federation Qualifier in which six riders out of ten participants qualified. Those qualified include:

Cristina Calin, (Cindy), Reema Shaban Ibrahim Al Hasan (Rivendell Sharman), Amna Jumaa Al Alawi (Soughan/Shakira), Madiyah Massaod Al Mehairi (Sulia), Azza Mohd. Helal Al Kaabi (Sahl), Humyan bint Khalid Al Meraikhi (Randa).

The Al Asayl Ladies Endurance Championship Round 2 and Round 3 are scheduled to be held on February 9 and March 9, 2007 respectively, at the end of which the Ladies Champion will be selected based on a point system.

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