Saturday, January 19, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Fine show in Al Nahyan ladies Challenge - Jan 19 2008 - Full story

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, on Jen A Dale Zamarah, came up with a consistent performance to win the Hydra Properties-sponsored 100km first round of the Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Challenge ladies' endurance event at the Al Asayel Endurance Village here on Friday.

Afra, riding the 13-year-old chestnut Jen A Dale Zamarah from Al Reef Stables, recorded a steady average speed of just over 25 kmph throughout the 4-loop ride to top the 31-strong field with a timing of 3 hrs 64 mins 36 secs.

Aliya Ali Mohammad Yousuf Al Marzouqi on Wadhnan finished second while Bayan Abdullah Abbas Ahmad on Reesville Saban completed a sweep for UAE women riders.

Behind them were two British riders, Kayleigh Smith and Sue Sidebottom and the top five gained valuable First Round points and will be taking a shot at the overall title after two more rounds.

Impressive response

Yesterday's ride, sponsored by Hydra Properties, saw a total of 31 lady riders from many countries taking part at this venue in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan gave away the prizes to the winners. "We thank our father for his support which has made it possible for the lady riders to compete and enhance their abilities," said Shaikh Mohammad.

Shaikha Aliyazia Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the winner of last year's challenge, said the support of Hydra Properties was a big boost for the competition.

"When we have strong sponsors it will help more stables to take part and enhance the quality of competitions," she said.

"I could not take part in the opening round as I was tied up with the organising of the event.

"This year, it was a bigger event. I will be taking part in the second round," said Shaikha Aliyazia.

"We now have stabling facilities for 40 horses which will allow the competitors to come here the night before and base their horses ahead of the ride," she said.

'Conducive for riding'

"Apart from this, the recent rain has settled the terrain and the loops were in very good condition and conducive for riding," Shaikha Aliyazia added.

"We are also working towards inviting lady riders from other GCC countries," she said.

Friday's 100-km ride was run in four loops of 30kms, 30kms, 24kms and 16kms.

© Gulf News 2008. All rights reserved.


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