Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UAE: All Set for Ladies Endurance Championship

20 November 2008

DUBAI - The first endurance ride for the current season exclusively featuring lady riders will be flagged off on Friday at the Al Asayl Endurance Village. The ride is part of the three-round Shaikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Challenge for Ladies, a Press release said.

The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, in cooperation with the Al Asayel Endurance Village, is organising the rides for the third consecutive year in the country. The FEI, CEI Three-star series will comprise three 120-km rides, the first of which will be held on Friday. Round Two and Three are scheduled to be held on February 19 and March 13.

Al Asayl Endurance Village, which is situated in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi, will be the venue for all the three rides, which are held under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Equestrian Federation.

Round One will be run in five phases of 30km, 30km, 24km, 20km and 16km respectively and will have a mass start at 6.15am. The ride is being sponsored by UAE realtors Hydra Properties.

Pre-ride inspection will be held on Thursday between 3 and 4pm at the Al Asayel Village premises. Respecting the UAE customs and traditions, the UAE local men folk are not permitted at the rides and private videography and photography too are forbidden.

Over 35 enthusiastic lady endurance riders have already confirmed their participation for the Friday inaugural. They include Shaikha Alyazia bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan who will be riding Ningadoo Moesha, Shaikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, who will partner with Sabee, Shaikha Maryam bint Omer Al Qasimi (Tsalla), Shaikha Asma Taleb Al Qasimi (Koheilan Des Serres) and Shaikha Madiya Hasher Al Maktoum (JG Opie). Also vying in the competition is Maria Alvarez Ponton, the reigning FEI World Champion. Maria won the title after finishing first in the Deyaar-sponsored 160-km FEI World Endurance Championship in Terengganu, Malaysia earlier this month.

Other contenders include Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, who was last year’s champion, Shamsah Awad Al Otaiba, who finished first in last year’s Round 3, Reem Shaban Ibrahim Hasan, Aliya Ali Mohd Yusuf Al Marzouqi, Sara Mohammed Al Jaber Al Marri, Nadia Mansor Loudouna, Jamila Ahmed, Nouf Mohammed Khamis Al Dhaheri and Bayan Abdullah Abas Ahmed,.
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