By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Abu Dhabi: Saif Hamoud Saif Al Shamsi riding Chetato came up with a fine display in the final 12 kms to overtake Oman's Ahmad Salim Al Beloushi on Bahia and win the 100km Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge ride yesterday.
Saif started three minutes behind Ahmad but the two riders, both riding horses owned by Mattar Al Yabhouni, finished almost together with just a second separating the two.
Mattar became the proud owner of a Nissan Patrol. It is the second time he has won this award as his horses had also finished 1-2 in the earlier ride which was also earmarked for riders from small stables and those horses belonging to small owners.
The ride, organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance and Industry, was held at the Dubai International Endurance City
Fifty riders started in this second round of the Challenge in which total prize money of Dh515,000 was on offer.
The UAE rider completed the CEN 100km ride - which gave the private-owned stables and individuals the chance to compete for Dh515,000 in prize-money - in 4hr.37m.27s.
"I have finished second twice and this is my first win.
"It was a tough ride but during the breaks, Mattar Al Yabhouni kept advising on the tactics and I just followed it," said the winner.
Saif completed the 100-km distance in a timing of 4 hrs 37 mins and 27 seconds at an average speed of 21.63 kmph. Ahmad in second place won Dh50,000 while Saif Sultan Abdullah Dahi Al Buamim on Faras Ayhla finished third and carried home Dh35,000.
"Under the directives of Shaikh Hamdan, today's ride was exclusively for UAE and GCC riders. This initiative has been well received by riders from small stables and gives them a chance to compete against themselves and win attractive prizes," said Ali Moosa Al Khamiri, Head of Endurance at DEC.
Shaikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum and Ali Moosa distributed the trophies and the keys to the Nissan Patrol to Mattar Al Yabhouni.
100-km Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge ride:
1. Saif Hamoud Saif Al Shamsi (Chetato) 4hrs 37 mins 27 secs.;
2. Ahmad Salim Al Beloushi-Oman-(Bahia) 4:37.28;
3. Saif Sultan Abdullah Dahi Al Buamim (Faras Ayhla) 5:09.06;
4. Saeed Al Mur Saeed Bin Helweh (Vonk) 5:14.18;
5. Mohammad Darwish Al Bashri (Karabil Wyoonah) 5:27.03.
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