Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bahrain: Riders set to match skills

March 15 2008

THE stage is set for His Majesty King Hamad's Endurance Horseride Championship starting today at 5am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will lead a strong field of riders from the kingdom and overseas in this challenging 120km event.

Among the top riders in the fray are UAE's Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, winner of the endurance race held during the Arab Games in Egypt.

Other leading riders include a team from Saudi Arabia, led by Prince Abdulla bin Fahad Al Saud, besides six entrants from Jordan.

Bahraini riders will also be present in today's event, representing the Royal Endurance Team, Al Khaldiya Stable, Al Asayel, Al Talia, and other top stables.

The event, sponsored by Al Areen Holding Company, Gulf Holding Company and International Bank, consists of races for senior and junior riders, both over 120km. Each race will be divided into five stages with 30km for the first two stages each, 25km for the third, 20km for the fourth and 15km for the fifth.

A two-hour veterinary examination was held yesterday at the venue's veterinary area.

More than BD58,000 in prize money is up for grabs. It will be shared by the top 10 riders in the senior and junior races.

The top award for the seniors' champion will be a vehicle worth BD16,000. A prize of BD7,000 will be given to the runner-up, BD6,000 for third place, BD5,000 for fourth and BD4,000 for fifth.

The remaining five riders will also be honoured. An amount of BD3,000 will be given to the sixth-place winner, BD2,500 for seventh, BD2,000 for eighth, BD1,500 for ninth and BD1,000 for 10th.

In the junior event, BD26,400 will be divided into 10 prizes with the winner to be awarded BD6,000. The runner-up gets BD5,000. Third-place winner will get BD4,000, BD3,000 for fourth, BD2,500 for fifth, BD2,000 for sixth, BD1,500 for seventh, BD1,000 for eighth, BD800 for ninth and BD600 for 10th.

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