Photo: Defending champion Shaikh Hazza will miss the three-day 240km Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup.
Large field for three-day ride
By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 03, 2008, 01:31
Gulf News, full article
Abu Dhabi: The number of entries for the three-day 240-km Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup, the feature event of the three-day endurance festival starting today at the Boudtheib Endurance Village, has doubled from last year.
Around 80 riders are expected to start in the 240-km FEI CEI three-star event, in which the riders will ride over 80-km in each of the three days on the same horse.
The 240-km ride is the highlight of the three-day festival organised by the Emirates Heritage Club under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and sponsored by Sorouh.
Today's opening day will also see about 45 Junior and Young riders battling for honours in the Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup for Juniors while a 120-km ride for privately-owned horses and small stables will be part of day two's action. The final day will see the finish of the gruelling 240-km ride accompanied by two Federation Qualifier Rides.
Masood Al Awar, Special Advisor to Chairman, Sorouh said, "Sorouh is delighted to be back as Endurance ride sponsors, particularly this three-day festival which will see some of the top competitors. In the three big rides almost all categories of endurance riders are covered and we feel this is a major event and are proud to support it."
In the absence of defending champion Shaikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Al Reef Stables' trio Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi, Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed and Omair Hussain Al Beloushi will be leading a strong line-up of UAE riders.
Yousuf, who has been in great form this season, will be looking to make up for last year's unfortunate result, when his horse was eliminated in the final vet check after he had finished the 240-km ride in first position. The champion from Al Reef rides Jibbah Enog while Abdullah Khamis will be on Risco Moreno, the horse that finished second in this ride under Spaniard Jesus Manuel Berna.
Shaikha Madiya Hasher Mana Al Maktoum, who finished 13th last year is back on the same horse Solid Asa Rock.
Shaikh Madiya recently finished second in a ride in Mexico behind two-time world champion Valerie Kanavy.
Riders from Canada, Uruguay, Australia and Great Britain are also part of the line-up in the 240-km ride and each day's 80-km distance will be in three stages of 30kms, 30kms and 20 kms.
1. 240-km-FEI.CEI, Three-star, three-day Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup, January 3, 4 & 5, 80 km each day, start: Thursday, 6.00 am, Finish-Saturday.
2. 120-km-UAE.CEN, 120-km Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup (for privately owned horses and small stables), Thursday, 6.30 am start.
3. 120-km FEI.CEIJY, Three-star, Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup (For Junior & Young riders), Friday, 6.30 am start.
4. Two Federation Qualifiers on Saturday, 80kms start at 6.30 am and 44 kms start at 6.45 am.