Saturday, November 08, 2008

[WEC Reports] New world endurance champion says Shaikh Mohammad was inspiration

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 08, 2008, 19:00

Terengganu, Malaysia: "If I am standing here as the world endurance champion it is only because of the support of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai," said the Dubai-based Maria Alvarez Ponton after making it almost a start-to-finish victory in the 160-km FEI World Endurance Championship here on Saturday.

"He gave us everything. We owe everything we have or done in horses to him. This victory is his," said Maria, who first came to Dubai to work as a stable rider seven years ago.

She met Jaume Punti Dachs, who was a trainer for Shaikh Mohammad's horses and after marriage the two created a record by becoming the first husband-wife pair to win a silver and bronze medal in the European Championship.

"Shaikh Mohammad allowed us to ride in competitions and that has helped. He has always been supportive of us and this win is also due to the experience of riding with the best UAE riders during the season," she said.

Riding her favourite horse Nobby, Maria completed the 160-km ride in 8 hours 48 minutes and 06 seconds and said her horse was a world champion.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 04:49:00 PM

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