Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dubai: Al Muhairi wins season opening endurance ride - Nov 18 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full article
Photo: Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi won the 120km Sorouh Challenge Endurance ride at Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday. by Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Staff Report
Published: November 18, 2007, 00:19

Dubai: Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi battled through fog and heat to win the season-opening endurance ride, the Sorouh Challenge at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Riding the eight-year-old gelding Royal Rebellion, Al Muhairi completed the 120km journey in 4 hours 57 minutes and 31 seconds.

Mohammad Hilal Salem Obaid Al Balarti, riding nine-year-old gelding Lobito Neero, finished second in 4:59.50 while Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim timed 5:4.56 on Xandu Hari Bubba to take the third spot.

Xandu Hari Bubba is owned by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The fourth place went to Salem Rashed Bin Ghadayer who partnered El Estande. He clocked a time of 5.08.40.

Both Royal Rebellion and Lobito Neero are owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry.

Very fast

"It was a tough ride because of the early morning fog and heat in the afternoon," said Al Muhairi.

"Though most of the riders were very fast my horse responded well.

"I am also very happy that Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's horses captured the top two places in the opening race of the season.

"This is my first win since I took up endurance riding as a sport four years ago. My previous best result was a third place in the Emirates Challenge, last year."

Al Muhairi, 25, said it was the first time in five years that Shaikh Hamdan's horses were completing a 1-2 finish in Abu Dhabi.

"If my memory is correct it was at the President's Cup ride that his horses secured the first two places five years ago," he said.

The CEI 3 star ride was held over five loops of 32kms, 30kms, 24kms, 19kms and 16 kms.

Both Al Muhairi and Royal Rebellion were tasting success for the first time.

Out of the 80 starters 26 riders completed the ride which was sponsored by Sorouh and Masood Al Awar.

Results

1. Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi (UAE) Royal Rebellion 4:57.31; 2. Mohammad Hilal Slaem Obaid Al Balarti (UAE) Lobito Neero 4:59.50, 3. Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim (UAE) Xandu Harji Bubba 5:04.56, 4. Salem Rashid Bin Ghadayer (UAE) El Estande 5:08.40, 5. Saif Slaem Mohammad Al Faresi (UAE) Joueur De loup 5:11.25.

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