Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stiff fight between Al Suwaidi and Sidebottom

Gulf News Article
By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: March 07, 2008, 01:24

Abu Dhabi: The UAE's Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi and British rider Sue Sidebottom are involved in a close battle to win the Dh150,000 car on offer for the overall winner of the Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Challenge Endurance Ride series.

Today's Hydra Properties-sponsored third and final round of the 100-km Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Challenge Endurance Ride for Ladies at the Al Asayel Endurance Village will see the top two along with a handful of other riders making a determined bid to win the overall title.

Afra leads with 200 points followed by Sue on 180 with Aliya Ali Al Marzouki (145), Briton Kayleigh Smith (140) and Reem Shaban on 100, all in with a chance to win today's final round and the overall title.

With 130 points for a win, an additional 45 points on offer for winning the best conditioned horse award gives any one of the top bunch of riders to win.

Bonus points

The rider who partners the same horse and completes all three rounds will also get an additional 100 bonus points.

Speaking to Gulf News, Sidebottom said she may not be riding Fenwick Cadenza, the horse with which she was placed fifth in the first round and won the second round.

"A final decision will be made later in the day. However, I would like to first complete the ride which will; give me a bonus of 50 points for completing all three rides," she said.

"There are some very good riders and Afra, Kayleigh and Aliya are all in with a chance. It will be a strong and highly competitive affair tomorrow," said Sue.

The FEI CEI Two-star event starts at 6.30am and will be run in four loops of 30, 30, 24 and 16kms.

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