Wednesday, January 30, 2008

UAE: Riders eye world record at Dubai World Challenge


Photo: Mr. Farid Mohammed Ahmed, Secretary General Dubai World, and Mr. Ali Moosa Al Kamiri, General Manager Dubai Equestrian Club

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Endurance.Net

The Dubai Equestrian Club is delighted to announce details of the Dubai World Challenge FEI CEI*** 120 km endurance ride to be held at Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) on Saturday, February 2, 2008.

Total prize money for the ride is AED 550,000 and General Manager of the Dubai Equestrian Club, Mr Ali Moosa Al Khamiri said: “It is wonderful Dubai World is sponsoring what will be a fantastic occasion on Saturday.

“We are in the heart of the endurance season, and standards within the UAE are at an all time high right now.

“We expect some quality entries and due to the increasingly high speeds of these races, leading riders will be hoping to set new world records, which should make for exciting viewing.

“The Dubai Equestrian Club wishes its partners Dubai World, and the competitors and spectators alike an extremely enjoyable and successful day.”

HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, Dubai World said: “Dubai World attaches great importance to this sport because it stems from our national heritage and is a hobby that has been popular with our forefathers for hundreds of years."

“Dubai World has always been known for sponsoring equestrian events, out of its belief of the necessity to preserve all initiatives contributing towards the safekeeping of heritage symbols that are particular to our society and culture.

“It is of vital importance to support the efforts aiming at preserving this traditional sport through organizing endurance races.

“Dubai World will always support social and sports activities in the UAE in general and in Dubai in particular in line with its vision of realizing the integration of all economic, social, cultural and sports sectors.”

The ride comprises of five loops of 31km, 32km, 27km, 18km and 12km, and is the sixth of eight contests to be held at DIEC this 2007-08 season.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bahrain: Royal victory! - January 27 2008

Gulf-daily-news.com - Full Story

BAHRAIN Royal Endurance team captain Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa raced to victory atop Shar Rushkin yesterday in the Batelco Endurance Horseride Championship at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

Shaikh Nasser, the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president, crossed the line in five hours, 51 minutes and 34 seconds with an average speed of 20.38 kms per hour. The race was held over 120 kms.

The Royal Endurance Team riders dominated the event taking nine of the top 10 positions among more than 50 riders in the fray.

More...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Great Britain: Double win for Hannah - Jan 25 2008

Hexham-courant.co.uk - Full Story

A TEENAGE endurance rider has won a prestigious riding award for the second year running.

Hannah Shotton (15), of Hexham, was presented with the Four for the North Bedmax Trophy for 2007, a trophy which she also bagged in 2006.

And the talented youngster was also named National Reserve Junior Champion at the National Endurance GB Awards dinner in December.

The Bedmax Trophy contest is open...

More...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bahrain: HM Receives BREEF President and Triumphant Team - Jan 22 2008

Bahrain News Agency
Manama, Jan. 22 (BNA) -- His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa received here on Tuesday President of Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF) Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Shaikh Nasser introduced Bahrain team which came first in Europe Endurance Open Championship in which he personally came in the 7th place on the individual level. HM The King welcomed them and praised their honorable achievements in the world contest, recently held in Portugal. He also hailed BREEF President key role and that of his colleagues in paving the way for such success in terms of members rehabilitation and moral and material support which were behind BREEF excellence in regional, Arab and global events. HM The King encouraged the team to exert further efforts in future contests to keep Bahrains reputation shining in all fields. During the meeting which was also attended by the royal court minister, Shaikh Nasser was honored to present the medals to HM The King in recognition of his royal support. Shaikh Nasser also expressed thanks and appreciation to HM The King for his continued support, saying it would further prod BREEF to make more achievements. Shaikh Nasser praised the performance of the Bahraini team, attributing their accomplishment to the teams resolution to succeed and to the strong cooperation and dedication of all members, wishing them further success in the prosperous era of HM The King. MTQ .

European endurance champion loses title for medication offence

Horse & Hound - Full Article

Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor Horse & Hound
22 January, 2008

Open European endurance champion Mubarak Khalifa bin Shafya has been stripped of his title after his horse Zakah Zahara tested positive for a banned substance at the championships in Portugal last September.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pairing had been promoted to first place in the Open Qatar Challenge after first rider over the line Sultan Bin Sulayem and Nashmi did not pass the final vetting.

But Zakah Zahara tested positive for a medication offence. French rider Jean Phillipe Frances and Hanana Du Bois have been promoted to first place.

There is no suggestion that Zakah Zahara was doped to gain an advantage.

An International Equestrian Federation spokesman said: "In these fast track cases as long as the rider pays a fine plus costs there is no further sanction, other than their withdrawal from the competition.

"Competition horses should not be taking any medication and this rule is in place to stop horses competing while ill or recovering from illness. In this case there was still some medicine in the horse's system."

Mubarak Khalifa Al Shafya is the manager and trainer of the Al Asaafa Endurance Stables, owned by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Fine show in Al Nahyan ladies Challenge - Jan 19 2008

Zawya.com - Full story

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, on Jen A Dale Zamarah, came up with a consistent performance to win the Hydra Properties-sponsored 100km first round of the Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Challenge ladies' endurance event at the Al Asayel Endurance Village here on Friday.

Afra, riding the 13-year-old chestnut Jen A Dale Zamarah from Al Reef Stables, recorded a steady average speed of just over 25 kmph throughout the 4-loop ride to top the 31-strong field with a timing of 3 hrs 64 mins 36 secs.

Aliya Ali Mohammad Yousuf Al Marzouqi on Wadhnan finished second while Bayan Abdullah Abbas Ahmad on Reesville Saban completed a sweep for UAE women riders.

Behind them were two British riders, Kayleigh Smith and Sue Sidebottom and the top five gained valuable First Round points and will be taking a shot at the overall title after two more rounds.

Impressive response

Yesterday's ride, sponsored by Hydra Properties, saw a total of 31 lady riders from many countries taking part at this venue in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan gave away the prizes to the winners. "We thank our father for his support which has made it possible for the lady riders to compete and enhance their abilities," said Shaikh Mohammad.

Shaikha Aliyazia Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the winner of last year's challenge, said the support of Hydra Properties was a big boost for the competition.

"When we have strong sponsors it will help more stables to take part and enhance the quality of competitions," she said.

"I could not take part in the opening round as I was tied up with the organising of the event.

"This year, it was a bigger event. I will be taking part in the second round," said Shaikha Aliyazia.

"We now have stabling facilities for 40 horses which will allow the competitors to come here the night before and base their horses ahead of the ride," she said.

'Conducive for riding'

"Apart from this, the recent rain has settled the terrain and the loops were in very good condition and conducive for riding," Shaikha Aliyazia added.

"We are also working towards inviting lady riders from other GCC countries," she said.

Friday's 100-km ride was run in four loops of 30kms, 30kms, 24kms and 16kms.

© Gulf News 2008. All rights reserved.

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Abu Dhabi: Hassan clinches Book Fair-Sorouh Cup - Jan 19 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full story

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 19, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Hassan Bin Ali, on Blackheath Kira, finished ahead of Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Omani Iman, to win the 120-km Abu Dhabi International Book Fair-Sorouh Cup endurance championship held at the Emirates International Endurance Village here on Saturday.

In a ride which saw a fast pace being set early by the two Beloushis, Omair and Yousuf, Hassan and Shaikh Mayed did well to finish just three minutes of each other in the five-loop 120-km event sponsored by Sorouh and Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Both Hassan and Shaikh Mayed were on the same horses in the National Day Cup ride, held at this very venue. Shaikh Mayed was third and Hassan Bin Ali was fifth in that ride held on December 15. While Omair Hussain Abdullah Al Beloushi retired his horse after the first stage, Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi's Estaban failed the vet check in the second stage.

Convincing winner

That left Hassan as the leader and he finished first in each of the four remaining loops to emerge a convincing winner. They recorded an average speed of just under 26km/h to complete the 120-km ride in 4 hours 37 minutes and 04 seconds. It was Hassan's second win this season. "It was a fast race and a tough one. The climate was good so it was helpful," said the winner.

Shaikh Mayed, who was seventh after the first stage, gradually moved up. Omani Iman has been a good partner for the Asian Games gold medallist as he won the Pan Arab Games individual gold in Cairo on the same horse.

Spanish star Jaume Punti Dachs, better known as Juma in the UAE, came in third. The silver medallist at last year's European Open Championship, Juma and his horse Don Sala finished third.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended yesterday's ride.

More...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Fine Show - Jan 18 2008

Gulfnews.com - Full story

Abu Dhabi: Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, on Jen A Dale Zamarah, came up with a consistent performance to win the Hydra Properties-sponsored 100km first round of the Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Challenge ladies' endurance event at the Al Asayel Endurance Village here on Friday.

Afra, riding the 13-year-old chestnut Jen A Dale Zamarah from Al Reef Stables, recorded a steady average speed of just over 25 kmph throughout the 4-loop ride to top the 31-strong field with a timing of 3 hrs 64 mins 36 secs.

More...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Impressive field for Book Fair-Sorouh Cup - Feb 17 2008

Gulfnews.com - Full story

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: More than 100 riders are expected to take part in the 120-km Abu Dhabi International Book Fair-Sorouh Cup endurance event to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (ADEC) here yesterday, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of ADEC said a total purse of Dh400,000 was on offer for Saturday's ride.

"The ride will be run in five stages of 32kms, 30kms, 24kms, 18kms and 16 kms," he said.

Juma'a Al Qubaisi, director of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair said...

More...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Ladies endurance ride receives tremendous boost - Jan 16 2008

Gulfnews.com

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 16, 2008, 00:43

Abu Dhabi: The First Round of the Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Challenge endurance competition has attracted over 35 entries and with Hydra Properties lending its support this event for lady riders has received a tremendous boost.

Shaikha Hessa Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Shaikha Madiya Hasher Mana Al Maktoum, Shaikha Maryam Bint Omer Al Qasimi and Shaikha Asma Taleb Al Qasimi along with riders from the UAE, France, Germany, Uruguay, US, Australia, Great Britain and Canada are among the 35-plus who have entered so far.

"We have brought in many changes and the 100-km CEI two-star FEI ride will be held at the Al Asayel Endurance Village (AAEV) in Sweihan, which has been spruced up for the three-round competition," said Salem Al Ketbi, President of the AAEV Organising Committee.

A new logo and enhanced prize money and a car for the overall winner of the three-round Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Challenge was also announced at the press conference.

"The winner of Friday's round will get Dh30,000, the second-placed rider Dh25,000 and Dh15,000 for the third place. The owner of the Best Conditioned horse will get Dh10,000," said Lara Sawaya, Managing Director of Tasweeq.

Great pride

"This is of particular importance and we take great pride in being part of this endeavour," said Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, CEO of Hydra Properties in a message.

"Under the guidance of Dr. Shaikh Sultan, the Al Asayel Endurance Centre has evolved into another of the UAE's major venue with a focus on women riders.

"Sport is an integral part of all projects unveiled by Hydra Properties and we take it as our responsibility to support and help in the progress of UAE sportspersons to reach international levels," he said.

Friday's 100-km ride will get off to a mass start at 6.30am and the ride will be run in four loops of 30, 30, 24 and 16kms.

More...

Abu Dhabi: Emirati girls can do well, says Hessa - Jan 16 2008

Gulfnews.com

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Shaikha Hessa Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan said Emirati girls were now getting the opportunity to take part in competitive riding and very soon they will gain success at the highest level.

Speaking to Gulf News at the Al Asayel Endurance Village in Sweihan yesterday, Shaikha Hessa said: "Emirati girls had not quite had the chance to compete, but now they were coming out. Over the last few years we have had some good competitions here," she said.

"Ladies rides have been catching up and are more competitive now as was seen in last year's Al Asayel Challenge. Very soon Emirati girls will be able to compete against the boys and hopefully make it to the UAE team," she added.

Immense support

Shaikha Hessa, who will be riding Sabee in Friday's 100km Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Challenge Round 1, said she has been supported a lot by her father. "But for him all this would not have been possible. My elder sister Shaikha Alyazia, who won last year's Three-round Challenge, also helps me," said Shaikha Hessa, who is in her final year at Zayed University.

"I am doing my internship in my subjects (International Studies and English Literature) and of late have had more time to train here," she said.

"Arabian horses are very good-looking, tough and they try hard. It is nice to work with them," Shaikha Hessa said.

More...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bahrain: Endurance race for Arab women set - Jan 15 2008

Gulf-daily-news.com

THE Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) plans to organise the first Arab Endurance Championship for Women later this year, Breef president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa revealed yesterday.

The race is expected to attract a good number of female jockeys from various Arab nations.

Shaikh Nasser has directed officials to kick-start preparations for the championship. He added that Breef will soon announce the date of the endurance event, along with its stages and other details.

Breef last week organised the National Guard Open Endurance Horseride Championship, which included a women's race over 100km.

The event witnessed strong participation from female jockeys with promising talents. Bahrain's Manal Fakhrawi of the Royal Endurance Team clinched the win, followed by Saudi Arabia's Latifa Al Shaikh in second and Qatari Khadeeja Al Bastaki in third place.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Malaysia: Success in the Desert!





As we followed the riders around on the final loop I was struck, once again, by the honesty of Endurance as a sport. His Majesty - Tuanku Zainal Abidin - King of Malaysia, was riding a horse provided by HH. Sh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - a very good horse. He had been crewed and supported all day by Jaume (Juma) Punti's barn - probably the best crewing possible. He was given ultimate opportunity for rest and food at each hold. There were a dozen cars following His Majesty and Halim- Dubai police, staff, security, even his family was following along during this final 19km.

But still, even with the best that money and position can provide, it ultimately comes down to effort and determination and physical endurance. And this was an honest effort - no short cut - no special favors - man and horse - 100 miles of endurance. His Majesty was tired. As head of state his government duties are demanding, and time for riding and physical training is precious and limited, and as a rider in his late 40's he was older than most of the other riders out on the course. And he was in pain. Riding in UAE is different from any other type of riding. It is fast and physically demanding, and if one is not accustomed to hours of cantering it can be exhausting. Riding the gallop uses a different set of muscles to maintain the back and forth rhythm, a very different motion for every muscle group. And without sufficient core strength, it becomes difficult to maintain the balance and keep the column straight and still while the waist and hips do the work.





But his jaw was set, and his arm was clamped to his side, and only his endurance - determination - could finish this ride. Nobody could do it for him, nobody could make it any easier for him. The horse looked fantastic - Ibrahim Pascha Larzac deserves the 'horse saint' medal of the year. He was eager all day but smooth and steady, only doing what he was asked or allowed to do, never pulling, always changing leads, always 'happy'.

The tension was palpable - all those cars, idling along in sight of the riders, spread out along beside and behind, filled with all those people, all eyes glued on His Majesty and Halim. The pressure to finish, to represent his country well and honorably must be daunting. And if all the mental pushing and wishing could have been turned into physical power during that last loop, I think he would have been air born ...

They alternated walking, trotting and cantering. The crew walked along beside His Majesty and Halim between crew points when the pace allowed. They didn't crew, didn't assist, just walked beside them. Juma walked beside him also. A word or smile every so often, he was there for moral support. And Halim, young and fit and eager and always smiling - every step was a step for his King.





The loop was a big circle around the venue, and most of the time we could see the Endurance City lights off in the distance. As the horses turned the last corner, heading down the 5km track that leads into the venue, they asked to canter - and so they did. No vehicles are allowed on this final stretch, so we fanned out along the access roads. From our vantage point (Mark Dial was driving, Shri Kanth (DVM) with us) I could see the riders framed against the white railing, lights along the track illuminated the horses legs as they did a steady gallop into camp. The vehicle lights were fanned out - it was a little foggy with the cooling air and moisture from the rain. Very moving - an image and feeling I won't ever forget. And sometimes the immensity of the moment overwhelms me. Just a 'regular person' with the honor and opportunity - the cosmic circumstance - to be here in a foreign country - an Arab state - witnessing a phenomenal display of character, and endurance, on the part of a Malay King - a man who could have chosen an easier path, an easier sport, but didn't.

Mark dropped Shri Kanth and I off at the finish line so we could meet the riders and he drove around to the in gate to help with arrival and crewing. We could see/hear/feel the riders coming in. A third horse had joined His Majesty and Halim, a grey horse ridden by Jairo Rodriguez Berenguer of Spain, they came across the line together. There was hushed cheering, I think the 19km's of emotion and tension still had a grip on everybody... the riders took their horses through the ingate and the crews went to work. His Majesty watched the horses disappear into a flurry of blue tshirts and buckets and was reluctantly herded to the chalet by his staff. There were quite a few people left at the vetting area - the vets and officials and FEI folks... Halvard Somerseth (one of the vets) who always makes me laugh came up with a big grin on his face, and some silly comment about 'The King and You' . A good laugh... cosmic circumstance.





The horses passed the final check brilliantly - bouncy trot and Ibrahim 'the great' still looked happy. What a horse. The horse that Halim was riding , Ismael, a rangy tough horse, pulsed at 47 within a couple minutes. I never saw him over 49 at any of the vetgate presentations. He was not as easy to ride as Ibrahim - a lot more work for Halim - but tough and fit and I think an 11 hour 100 was a walk in the park for him.

Tuanku Mizan is planning to come back for the Presidents Cup. If he finishes this ride in CoC time he will be qualified to represent Malaysia in the WEC. It will be in 6 weeks - Juma said it would be no problem for the horses - and I don't doubt him after watching them all day. I suspect that for Tuanku Mizan, after the pain and fatigue wear off, the elation and sense of accomplishment will settle in. (this is what makes all of us endurance junkies). I suspect he will spend the next 6 weeks doing his King job on the surface, but perhaps his dreams will be out there in the desert...

Steph


Complete Event Covage on Endurance.Net and EnduranceEurope.Net

UAE riders making the difference

Gulf News - full article

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Report
Published: January 14, 2008, 00:54

Abu Dhabi: Much before Saturday's His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, the UAE riders had asserted their superiority by winning World, European, Asian and Pan Arab championships.

But Saturday's world record for a 160-km ride by Omair Hussain Al Beloushi on 11-year-old Charlandre Al Sharif left many of the equestrian world's top brass gasping in disbelief.

Omair and Charlandre bettered the old record set by another UAE rider last year by more than 13 minutes, but more than the effort it was the manner in which it was achieved that drew admiration from the vast bunch of riders and officials.

After doing speeds of around 25 kmph over the first three loops, Omair took just under two minutes to present his horse for the veterinary check. But when after 140kms, Omair and Charlandre Al Sharif still registered an incredible speed of 30.29kmph on the final loop, a large gathering waited to see how the horse would fare at the final vet check before being named winner.

Sinking in

And when the electronic heart-beat rate monitor flashed 49 beats per minute, which was much lower than the allowed 65bpm, did the record-breaking effort really sink in?

Two-time world champion Valerie Kanavy from the US did 9 hrs and 07 second when the 1998 World Endurance Championship was held here.

Most of the UAE riders and their crew watched as Kanavy's team impressed with their crewing during the ride and in between the loops.

On Saturday the world watched when the UAE horses, particularly Charlandre Al Shariff took less than two minutes to recover during the first five loops!

The winner averaged a speed of 24.71 kmph for the 160km ride while the best-placed international rider, Laurent Most of France on Khandela des Vialette averaged 20.20kmph while finishing 9th.

In perspective

Putting Saturday's world record in perspective was Ian Williams, head of FEI Endurance Committee. "This course is not easy as many riders have told me, it is a challenging course. There is a limit and we are getting close to that."

"These are elite horse and are unique. And if they keep coming back and doing the same speeds, then we have to accept and respect them," he said.

"The UAE riders are uncovering hidden talent, they are digging deeper and only time will tell. But with our veterinary checking system quite tight we have to agree that this is something special," he added.

Saturday's world record for a 160-km ride by Omair Hussain Al Beloushi on 11-year-old Charlandre Al Sharif left many of the equestrian world's top brass gasping in disbelief.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Malaysia's King finishes HH Shk Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup


photo: His Majesty riding Ibrahim Pascha Larzac (left) and Halim riding Ismayla D'Escailine crossing the finish at the HH Shk. Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup.

January 13, 2008
Endurance.Net

His Majesty Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, King of Malaysia, crossed the finish line of the 160km (100 mile) Endurance race at 8:16 PM for a total ride time of 11:07:01. His Majesty and Malaysian rider Abdul Halim Ali Han both completed the race after dark for 29th and 30th place finishes, out of a starting field of 137 riders.

The event, named in honor of HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, rule of Dubai and Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, was one of the world's premier Endurance Events, held at the Emirates International Endurance City in Dubai, UAE. In addition to a large field of UAE riders, there was a large field of top foreign riders in attendance at the invitation of the Organizing Committee.

The race was won by UAE rider Omair Husain Al Bloushi riding Charlandre El Shari in 6:28:28 - a record breaking time for a 160km course. Top placing foreign rider was Laurent Mosti from France, riding Khandela des Vialette to a 9th place finish with a time of 7:55.

Official results can be found at Dubai International Endurance City website.

Photos and event coverage can be seen at Endurance.Net coverage website.

UAE: Omair's World Record

Gulf News: Full Article and more photos




photo Gulf News: Omair Hussain Al Beloushi canters home holding the UAE flag as he celebrates his victory in the 160-km Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 at Dubai International Endurance City at Seih Assalem in Dubai on Saturday.

Omair's world record

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 12, 2008, 23:29

Dubai: Some of the world's top riders were awestruck when the UAE's Omair Hussain Al Beloushi on 11-year-old Charlandre El Sharif chose the world's richest-ever endurance ride to set a world record, which will take some beating.

The inaugural Omega-sponsored His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, which was billed as the most valuable endurance ride in the world, will now go down in history for also attracting the most number of riders for a non-championship ride (137) and also for the world record as Omair and Charlandre El Sharif shaved off over 13 minutes from the existing record.

The 22-year-old rider from Abu Dhabi's Al Reef Stables looked supremely confident as he finished first in five of the six loops in yesterday's 160-km event, which had attracted some of the world's most prominent riders.

Omair and Charlandre El Sharif revelled under ideal conditions to complete the 160-km ride in 6 hours 28 minutes and 28 seconds - an effort which was impossible a few years back.

It certainly was an amazing display by a promising rider on a champion horse from the all-conquering Al Reef Stables. In 2005, this venue witnessed a new record for a 160-km event when Barbara Lissarrague and Georgat did 7 hrs 04 mins 14 secs. The 7-hour barrier was broken by Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan on ZT Faraventure (6:41:33) in the His Highness The President's Cup ride in February last year.

On target

Omair, who created a world record for the 100-km distance with the same Charlandre El Sharif last year, said he went for the record. His uncle and trainer Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi, who was also a favourite in yesterday's ride, had predicted a record when speaking to Gulf News on the eve of the ride, and his nephew delivered on that promise. "Right from the word go we wanted to go for the record. The weather was ideal and my horse is a great champion," said Omair, who registered his third win with Charlandre and eight of his career.

Omair received a standing ovation as he cantered home holding the UAE flag and his effort earned him the fabulous trophy, a Nissan 4x4 vehicle, Dh250,000 and a prestigious watch from sponsors Omega.

Al Wathba Stables' Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on Leblond finished second to carry home Dh200,000 and a Nissan 4x4 vehicle, while Mohammad Rashid Saeed Al Subosi on Genio II finished third and also drove away with a Nissan 4x4 vehicle and Dh150,000.

Results

Top five: 1. Omair Hussain Al Beloushi (Charlandre El Sharif) 6hrs 28 mins 28 secs - New world record for a 160-km ride. Old record: Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan on ZT Faraventure (6:41:33)

2. Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (Leblond) 6:51.44;

3. Mohammad Rashid Saeed Al Subosi (Genio II) 7:15.04;

4. Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi (Macquarie Park Sedition) 7:18.31;

5. Shaikh Juma Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum (Kheops de Lozelle) 7:33.49.

[More ...]

Al Bloushi wins HHSM Endurance Cup in 6:28:28 Run



Omain Hussain Al Bloushi
Riding Chalandre El Sharif
Image by Cidinha Franz√£o
Omair Hussain Al Bloushi, on Charlandre El Sharif, clipped over 13 minutes from the existing world record to win the AED 1.5 million 160-km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup at the Dubai International Endurance City on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Al Reef Stables rider and his 11-year-old chestnut gelding dominated most of the six-loop ride and coped best with the wet and chilly weather to finish the 160-km distance in a time of 6 hours 28 minutes 28 seconds.

The previous record for a 160-km event was held by Sheikh Khaled Bin Sultan Al Nahyan on ZT Faraventure (6:41:33) which was created at the HH The President’s Cup ride in February last year.

"I was determined to go for the record as the conditions were perfect. My horse is a champion and this is the second record we have together. Last year we created a new record for a 100-km ride," said Al Bloushi, who finished with the UAE flag flying high in his hands.

The Al Reef youngster has so far won eight rides and dedicated his success to Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the driving force behind the Al Reef Stables.

Al Wathba Stables rider Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on Leblond finished second in a timing of 6hrs 51 mins 44 seconds.

The pace set by the UAE riders was too hot to handle. European Open champion Jean Phillipe Frances, whose horse was eliminated for lameness in the second loop, said: "It is amazing, the speed set by the winner. The UAE riders are virtually unbeatable at home."

Earlier at 6.00 am in the morning, with overnight rain still falling, 137 riders got off to a mass start in the inaugural HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, organized by the Dubai Equestrian Club.

It was a record field for a non-championship ride and truly complemented the Omega-sponsored event which carried the biggest ever purse of AED1.5 million, four 4x4 vehicles and a prestigious watch from Omega.

"It has been a great day of racing. The field was not only one of the biggest but the best horses and riders took part and it was not a surprise that a world record was created," said Ali Moosa Al Khamiri, General Manager of Dubai Equestrian Club.

Complete Results at Endurance.Net and EnduranceEurope.net

Al Maktoum Cup: 24.47 km/hr Pace for 120km

Riders are maintaining a fast 24.47km/hr race through the first 120km of this 160km event. 23 riders have entered Gate 4, with only 40km to go in the CEI*** event. 48 are eliminated!

Complete Coverage at Endurance.Net and EnduranceEurope.net

Friday, January 11, 2008

UAE: 108 Listed as Starters for 160km Race

108 Riders are listed as starters for the 2008 Shk Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Endurance Cup at the Dubia International Endurance City.

Weather is cool (58df/18c) moist (it is raining) and windy at the start.

Complete Coverage on endurance.net and EnduranceEurope.net

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dubai: HRH Tuanku Mizan of Malaysia to ride in UAE

His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, the King of Malaysia, and Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum are part of the nearly 130-odd riders who are expected to start in the His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 on Saturday.

King Tuanku and Shaikh Mayed will be joined by 26 international riders and more than 100 riders from the UAE, including many international riders based here in the UAE.

With a whopping Dh1.5 million and four 4x4 vehicles on offer, Saturday's ride will go down as the richest-ever endurance ride.

Organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC), the FEI CEI 3-star 160-km ride is sponsored by Omega and will be held at the Dubai International Endurance City.

Shaikh Mayed, who recently emerged a double gold medallist, winning the individual as well as team gold in the Pan Arab Games, is also an Asian team gold medallist and heads a strong line-up of UAE riders.

Prominent among them are World junior silver medallist Shaikh Abdullah Bin Faisal Al Qasimi, Asian Games bronze medallist Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya, Salem Rashid Bin Ghadeyer, Hassan Bin Ali, Ali Al Muhairi, Ali Khalfan Al Muhairi and last season's top UAE rider Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi.

Some more big names are expected to line up ahead of Friday's pre-ride veterinary check, to be held at the venue in Seih Assalam.

Saturday's ride will be run in 6 loops of 32km, 32km, 28km, 28km, 21km and 19km. The top 25 riders will get a slice of the prize money. Three Best Conditioned Horse awards are also on offer.

John Robertson, the technical delegate for the ride, said the riders and horses were put through strict quarantine controls.

"Everyone has been obeying the rules and since most of them have been here before, it is no problem," said the Briton, who has been based at the Quarantine Stables in the Dubai International Endurance City.

"Security of the horses and ensuring that there is no contamination are our prime concerns," he said in a DEC press release.

"We have demarcated separate areas for their training and since all these horses are from Europe, we just have one large stable here," Robertson said.

Among the international riders, the French have entered a strong 12-member squad, which includes European Open champion Jean Philippe Frances, Barbara Lissarrague, the winner of the 2005 World Championship held in Dubai, and a few riders who have been on the gold medal-winning teams from France at the World and European Championships.

Top Australian rider Meg Wade, German ace Melanie Arnold, top Italians Fausto Fiorucci, Gianluca Laliscia and UAE-based Spanish rider Jaume Punti Dachs will be part of the international line-up here on Saturday.

Complete Coverage on Endurance.Net

Dubai: Upping the Ante -- 4 4x4s 4 Winners!

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has generously given the world’s most valuable endurance race, named in his honour, a wonderful boost after adding four 4x4 vehicles to the AED 1.5million prize-money on offer.

Earlier this week, the Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC) announced the world’s richest-ever endurance ride – the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 – with Omega as the title sponsor.

Twenty six international riders will be joined by competitors from the UAE and the rest of the region in the 160-km event which is an FEI CEI 3* event, to be held at Dubai International Endurance City on Saturday.

General Manager of the DEC, Ali Moosa Al Khamiri, said: “We are indebted to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his extremely kind gesture, which is sure to make competition even more fierce for this fabulous event.”

Entrance is free and enthusiasts can sample the action up close on the course as DEC will operate a fleet of 4x4 cars for desert drives. Alternatively, fans can keep in touch with the action via big screens.

There will be plenty of action off the track too with a variety of family entertainment and a jazz band that will play throughout the day.

Complete Coverage

Dubai: Taylor banks on previous experience

With just one day left before the top-class AED1.5million HHSM Endurance Cup 2008 field line up for Friday’s pre-ride veterinary check, the Dubai International Endurance City was a hive of activity.

While the 26 international riders and horses have been training in their allotted areas, many UAE riders were also out having a feel before the world’s richest endurance race on Saturday, organized by Dubai Equestrian Club and sponsored by Omega.

Liz Taylor, who is one of the three British riders in the fray, is hoping to bank on the experience she gained last year in the HH President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Taylor finished 18th last year on Falaina Bint Chatanz and is once again accompanied by the 14-year-old horse.

“That was the first time I was ever riding on sand and it was a good experience. It was a quality field and we finished 18th and we learnt a lot from that,” said the 24-year-old who is employed with the British Farmers Union.

Taylor, who has been riding in competitions for about 12 years, enjoys a good record with her horse.

“Falaina Bint Chatanz has been a consistent performer and we have completed seven 160-km rides together including a win, a second and a third-place finish,” said Taylor.

In the President’s Cup held in February last year, Taylor and Falaina Bint Chatanz completed the 160-km ride in 8 hrs 57 mins 56 seconds with an average speed of 17.85 kmph.

“We have done about 18.5 kmph and I would be glad if we cross the 19kmph speed level and finish well,” said Taylor.

John Robertson, the Technical Delegate for Saturday’s FEI CEI 3* 160-km contest, said the riders and horses were put through strict quarantine controls.

“Everyone has been obeying the rules and since most of them have been here before it is no problem,” said the Briton, who has been based at the Quarantine Stables in the Dubai International Endurance City.

“Our prime focus has been security of the horses and to ensure there is no contamination,” he said.

“We have demarcated separate areas for their training and since all these horses are from Europe we just have one large stable here.”

With the final list of entries being finalized, the horses will go through the pre-ride veterinary check on Friday afternoon before the expected pre-dawn start at 6.00 am on Saturday.

Full Event Covrage

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oman: HM presides over Royal Horse Race Festival

MUSCAT — His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said presided over the annual Royal Horse Race Festival at Al Adiat horse race track, in the wilayat of Seeb yesterday.

The festival was attended, along with His Majesty the Sultan, by members of the royal family, the chairmen of the State Council and Majlis Al Shura, ministers, advisers, members of the State Council and Majlis Al Shura, undersecretaries and members of the diplomatic corps in the Sultanate.

The festival began with the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan, when the Royal Anthem was played.

The festival included interesting shows for military procession, carriages, girl jockeys’ march and trotters, in addition to speed riding and rodeo sport.

After this, the horse race for His Majesty the Sultan Cup started. The race included six rounds namely, Al Akhdahar Fort for pure Arabian horses for 1,800 metres; Al Bustan Fort for pure Arabian horses for female riders for 1,100 metres; Al Shariq Fort for thoroughbred horses for 1,600 metres; Al Khandaq Fort for pure Arabian horses for 1,100 metres; Jibreen Fort for pure Arabian horses for 1,600 metres and Shamoukh Fort for pure Arabian horses for 2,100 metres.

The six rounds of the race included polo shows for male, female and young riders; beauty display of horse and young camels; foals for horses and other breeds shows; razha and music carriage show and endurance race show.

There were displays for horse-riding skills, fun race, carriage-riding by children, tent-pegging, hurdle race for children in addition to displays for sword, javelin, tent-pegging skills and arrow-shooting from a fast-moving carriage and cavalry display for the Olympic trilateral.

The festival also included a display for carriage race, common horse march, a carriage dragged by 20 horses, young foals programme at the grass field followed by the final plateau for the festival.

After this, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said handed over His Majesty’s Cup for the first winner of the sixth round of the Al Shamoukh Fort for pure Arabian horses and prizes for the first winners of the other rounds.

After this, the Royal Anthem was played signalling the conclusion of the horse race and then His Majesty the Sultan left the horse race track.

Around 2,533 participants took part at the festival, including 967 students and trotters in addition to 837 horses.


[More ...]

2005 WEC Champion Lissarrague back in Dubai

World champion partners ‘family horse’ in Dh1.5 million HHSM Endurance Cup 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

With Saturday’s Dh1.5 million HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 fast approaching, most of the international riders were out with their horses doing some light training in the desert tracks in Seih Assalam.

Raid De Bozouls, the horse which 2005 World Endurance Champion Barbara Lissarrague of France will be riding on Saturday, was also out having a workout yesterday morning.

Lissarrague, the winner of the 2005 World Endurance Championship held here at the Dubai International Endurance City, was expected to arrive today, so training the horse in the meantime was her husband-cum-trainer-cum rider Christian Lissarrague.

“Raid De Bozouls has been with us for over six years now and he is more a family horse as me, my wife as well as my daughter Nina have been riding him in competitions," said Christian, as he prepares the horse to compete against some of the best riders and horses in the world.

“Raid De Bozouls has adapted well since arriving here on January 4 but we will have to wait and see how he is on the eve of the ride”, said Christian.

The French horse will be one of the 26 international entries who take on a strong contingent of UAE riders in the six-loop FEI.CEI 3* ride sponsored by Omega.

“My daughter Nina, who is a junior national rider with the French team finished fifth on Raid De Bozouls in October and he is back after a good rest,” added the French trainer.


Christian was however not sure whether the European riders could keep pace with the hosts.

“Races here are very fast and Barbara did very well when she won the world championship in 2005. But it is a different race and a different horse,” he said.

“One thing for sure is that UAE’s progress in endurance has changed the sport. There are more breeders and more horses and overall it has benefited many. The facilities here are the best in the world and with such a strong field for Saturday’s ride it will be a great experience,” added Christian.

“We have 12 French riders and with the World Championship to be held in Malaysia later this year, the French Equestrian Federation will be monitoring the progress of the riders and horses.

“Being an annual affair, this HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 will help in international riders to come here, participate and prepare for the big championships.

“The UAE riders will be starting off as the favourites and the French have always been at the forefront. An interesting competition is in store on Saturday and the ride will be a fast-paced one,” concluded Christian.

Complete Event Coverage

Monday, January 07, 2008

Dubai to host world's richest ride


posted on 07/01/2008
The Dubai Equestrian Club on Sunday unveiled the world's richest-ever endurance ride - the His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 - to be held at the Dubai International Endurance City on January 12.
Addressing the press here at the Madinat Jumeirah, Saeed Al Tayer, vice-president of DEC, said 26 riders from all over the world have been invited for the Dh4 million ride with Omega as the title sponsor.
The January 12 ride is a FEI CEI three-star 160km event and will be run in six loops of 32kms, 32kms, 28kms, 28kms, 21kms and 19 kms. The 1.5 million cash prize will be distributed among the top 25 riders with the winner going home richer by Dh250,000.
"Apart from world class action on the tracks, a big screen will beam live the action at the ride venue while www.dubaiendurancecity.com will carry results live online. Entertainment for the family on the sidelines includes bouncy castles, clowns, stilt walkers, clowns, henna faces painters and a jazz band," added Al Tayer. – Gulf News

UAE Interact - full article

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Zealand: Jeffries & Rhan take S. Island Championship Title

By Endurance.Net
January 6, 2008

photo: Paul Jeffries at 2007 HOY

Paul Jeffries & Rhan won the South Island Championship CEI*** at Hawarden, New Zealand on January 5 in a time of 10:23. Rhan also won the Best Conditioned Award, having finished his 12th career 160km event.

Second and third place finishes went to Kylie Avery riding Silans Jasark and
Phillip Graham on Wolfgang Amadeus.

UAE: International Riders to compete in Al Maktoum Cup


World’s best in UAE

The world's leading riders descend upon the UAE this week for the inaugural AED1.5milllion HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 - the world's most valuable endurance event.

Omega is the title sponsor of the FEI CEI*** 160km event held at Dubai International Endurance City on Saturday, and it has attracted three of the world's top 10 riders, according to the FEI World Wide Rankings, including the second-ranked Frenchman Jack Begaud.

The ride is over six loops and starts at 6am and has enticed 26 overseas-based riders in total, as well as many of the top UAE riders.

The ride is organized by the Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC), whose General Manager Ali Moosa Al Khamiri, said: "The HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup is set to be one of the top sporting events taking place in the UAE, and we are indebted to the vision of His Highness for making it happen.

"Endurance has a huge profile in the UAE, where many of the best riders hail from, and it is fitting that the country hosts such a prestigious event, one which we hope will become the centerpiece of the endurance season worldwide.

"We are indebted also to Omega, our title sponsor, and are delighted that they have been rewarded with such a top-class line-up of riders. We wish everyone an enjoyable day, and wish all those taking part the best of luck."

Entrance is free and spectators can sample the action up close on the course as DEC will operate a fleet of 4x4 cars for desert drives. Alternatively, fans can keep in touch with the action via big screens.

There will be plenty of action off the track too with a variety of family entertainment and a jazz band that will play throughout the afternoon.
A full field of International riders will compete in the 2008 Shk Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum cup.

Riders from France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal, Norway and Australia include:

Jack Begaud
Virgine Atger
Jean Philippe Frances
Sophie Arnaud
Philippe Tomas
Jean Michel Grimal
Philippe Benoit
Cecile Miletto
Larent Mosti
Elodie Le Labourier
Julie Lafaure
Barbara Lissarrague
Marianne Hahnel
Sabrina Arnold
Ander Mato Garcia
Yon Zabalua
Karin Boulanger
Anna Williams
Janice Cockley Adams
Liz Taylor
Patrizia Giacchero
Fausto Fiorucci
Gianluca Laliscia
Rui Pereira
Ellen Suhr
Meg Wade

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Khalid corners glory with fine show - Jan 5 2008

Gulfnews.com - Full story
By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 05, 2008, 23:10

Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan rode Nemer to a fantastic victory in the gruelling three-day 240-km Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup, the feature event of the three-day endurance festival which ended on Saturday at the Boudtheib Endurance Village.

After his elder brother Shaikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the defending champion was eliminated on the second day, Shaikh Khalid paced himself well and made his move in the final 20-kms of the 240-km ride to score a great win on the 10-year-old chestnut gelding Nemer.

It was Mohammad Hamad Mohammad Saeed Al Junaibi on Ramalea Captain Starlight who went out on the final stage after being in the lead for the whole of the second day and also after the first two stages yesterday.

Al Junaibi took off on the final 20-km loop almost four minutes ahead of Shaikh Khalid with Ali Mohammad Al Muhairi on Akasha Sansation and Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed on Risco Moreno in fourth place.

Al Junaibi's horse seemed to be tested to the limit as Shaikh Khalid on Nemer began to make his move.

Battle for supremacy

The two battled for supremacy and Shaikh Khalid's decision to hold back Nemer during the earlier stages seemed to pay off.

The two went on to finish first and then Nemer came tops in the final vet check despite doing a speed of 26.83 kmph on that final leg.

Al Junaibi's horse Ramalea Captain Starlight was found lame and had to be eliminated leaving Al Reef Stable's Risco Moreno, under Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed, win the second place for the second time.

Last year Jesus Manuel Berna had won on Rico Moreno behind Shaikh Hazza.

Ali Mohammad Al Muhairi on Akasha Sansation did well to finish third after being in the top five from the second stage onwards in the nine-stage ride.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Shaikh Zayed Bin Mohammad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Masoud Al Awar, Special Advisor to Chairman, Sorouh - the sponsors of the three-day festival which included a 120-km ride for Juniors, a 120-km ride for privately-owned stables, the 240-km three-day ride and two Federation Qualifiers-attended the prize distribution ceremony. "I have been preparing for this ride for some time now and am extremely happy to win it," said Shaikh Khalid.

Commenting on the tactics he used, Shaikh Khalid said, "Well, I did not go in with any fixed line of tactics.

"Most of it depended on how my horse was faring and also on how the other riders were progressing."

"However after two days and 160kms, I though I had a good chance today as my horse looked in top form," said the winner.

Well, I did not go in with any fixed line of tactics. Most of it depended on how my horse was faring and also on how the other riders were progressing."

Gulfnews.com

Bahrain: Manal clinches women's title - Jan 5 2008

Gulf-daily-news.com - Full story

MANAL Fakhrawi was crowned champion of the women's race while Ali Busaffar won the men's event in the National Guard Open Endurance Horseride Championship yesterday at the Bahrain International Endurance Village premises in Sakhir. The championship, organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef), featured the first women's race in the season besides a men's race, both over 100 kms.

The races were divided into four stages as 30 kms are set for the first two stages, 25 kms for the third and 15 kms for the fourth.

Riding Chronic Milky Way from the Royal Endurance Team, Manal emerged winner with a total time of four hours, 14 minutes and two seconds.

Behind her was Latifa Al Shaikh (4:14:31) from Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Stable while Qatari rider Khadija Al Bastaki (4:18:55) was third in.

Busaffar, representing Al Asayel Stable, steered Hemrick to a first-place finish in five hours, two minutes and seven seconds.

He was followed by Isa Al Dossary (5:03:31) of Al Fateh Stable in second place with Al Asayel Stable rider Nisar Hassan (5:07:36) third.

The event also comprised two qualifying races over 85-kgs and 60-kgs which will be open to new riders and horses.

The 85-km race were split into three stages, including 30 kms for the first two stages and 25 kms for the third while the 60-km event consists of two stages, each over 30 kms.

The event was held under the patronage of National Guard commander Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa who honoured the winners in each race at the prize-distribution ceremony.

The event was also attended by Breef president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Breef second vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and other officials.

Shaikh Mohammed congratulated the winners and thanked the riders from Bahrain and other GCC countries for taking part.

Shaikh Mohammed also praised the federation board and committee members for their efforts in organising the race, wishing them further success and progress.

Results (horse, total ride time):

Women: 1 Manal Fakhrawi (Chronic Milky Way, 4:14:02); 2 Latifa Al Shaikh (Anwar Al Mammlakah, 4:14:31); 3 Khadija Al Bastaki (4:18:55); 4 Sara Baban (Falah Ohood, 4:20:12)l 5 Shaikh Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa (Lalik Du Parc, 4:38:20); 6 Caisha Smith (Cedar Ridge Independence, 5:31:34); 7 Hannan Al Dawadi (Al Arem, 6:17:47); 8 Esther Ghuloom (Kabyle Armor, 6:22:34).

Men: 1 Ali Busaffar (Hemrick, 5:02:07); 2 Isa Al Dossary (Bedouin De Piboul, 5:03:31); 3 Jaffar Al Alawi (R S Iman, 5:55:38); 4 Mubarak Al Rowaie (Swoop, 6:08:19); 5 Baqer Ali (Shahhar, 6:20:02).

Gulf-daily-news.com

Friday, January 04, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Fahad is first Omani to win endurance race - Jan 4 2008

Khaleejtimes.com - Full story

By Amith Passela

ABU DHABI - Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan stayed on course of his title defence of the three-day 240-kilometre endurance race for Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup sponsored by Sorouh here at the Boudthib Endurance Village yesterday.

Shaikh Hazza held a slender lead on 11-year-old Crossbred Anglo Arab gelding Akab after the opening day's 80-kilometre stage from last season’s leading rider Yousef Ahmed Al Baloushi astride Zara Farm Chandalii.

Only 30 minutes separated the top 20 riders at the end of the opening stage of the race run over three loops. Shaikh Hazza clocked three hours 12 minutes and 56 second, just nine seconds ahead of Al Baloushi.

A further half-a-minute in third was Mohammed Saeed Al Junaibi on Ramalea Captain Starlight, followed by Ali Al Muhairi onboard Akasha Sensation, Jassim Ali Al Hammadi (Nadja Lotoise) and Shaikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Nemer).

Shaikh Hazza finished strongly after completing the first 30km loop in 16th. He moved up 10 places in the next 30 kilometres and headed the field on the last 20km loop of the day.

Yousef Ahmed predicted a close race after the first day's standings. "The field is closely grouped and looks like a wide open race at this stage. For me, it's a good position to be in when we start day two, which will be much tougher."

The Al Reef Stable rider has already won two races for the season and finished a creditable second behind Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri in the National Day Cup race three weeks ago.

The three-day ride that has drawn 59 entries is part of the annual endurance festival under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Boudthib Endurance Village.

The opening day also saw a 120-kilometre race for private stables and individuals, and won by Abu Dhabi based Omani rider Fahad Abdulla Al Baloushi on 15-year-old Crossbred mare Nakita owned by Mohammed Ahmed Khalifa Al Hameli.

Fahad incidentally became the first Omani national to win an endurance race in the Emirates. "I'm not aware of any such record but I'll remember this for a long, long time, it being my first win since I began riding two years ago."

Private stable

The 23-year-old who works for a private stable in Abu Dhabi made almost every yard of the running to complete the distance in more than five hours and 46 minutes.

Fahad lost a podium finish in a similar race at Boudthib last month when his horse was vetted out for metabolic after crossing the finish line in second.

"It was a very bitter experience," said Fahad.

"This time I didn’t have to push my horse hard as the second horse was a long way back. I thought I had the race when going into the second last loop."

Fahad lost the lead briefly in the second loop but was in front again from there onwards to go on and win the race by more than 10 minutes from Al Ain Stables Hamad Ibrahim Al Marzouqi on Milqui, who occupied the same spot as he did in a similar race category last week in the Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1.

The second stage of the main ride will start at 6.30am today and will include a 120-kilometre race for Young Riders and Juniors, worked off simultaneously as the second day's programme.

Khaleejtimes.com

Bahrain: Top stables eye endurance title - Jan 4 2008

Bahrainendurance.com - Full story

RIDERS from leading stables are gearing up for the National Guard Endurance Horseride Championship to be organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) on Saturday at 6am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village premises in Sakhir.

This is the second event of the 2007-08 season and will include the first women's race of the season to be held over 100 kms.

Al Fateh Stable will be one of the leaing teams taking part in the women's race with Shaikha Muneera bint Salman Al Khalifa and her sister Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa top contenders for the individual title.

The sisters had a month-long extensive training programme under their father and coach Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa.

The sisters have thanked Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa for his support in organising the women's race.

Shaikh Nasser earlier said the Royal Endurance Team will not be allowed to participate in the event. This decision was taken with a view of providing an opportunity for other stables to take part in a high profile event like this.

The federation, meanwhile, have received confirmation from several stables, including the Kingdom's Stable from Saudi Arabia who will be taking part in this event for the second successive year.

The women's team include Alya'a Al Huwaiti, Latifa Al Shaikh, Noora Al Yousif, Sara Baban and team head Najeeb Al Burjus. The Saudi team will be sponsored by the Kingdom Holding Company chairman Prince Al Waleed bin Talal.

The event, to be held under the patronage of National Guard chief Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, will be divided into four stages - the first two stages will consist of 30 kms each, the third will be over 25 kms and the fourth 15 kms.

A men's race over 100 kms will also be held besides two qualifying races over 85-kms and 60-kms open to new riders and horses.

The 85-km race will be divided into three stages, 30 kms for the first two stages and 25 kms for the third while the 60-km event consists of two stages, each over 30 kms.

Among the top riders taking part in the men's race is Isa Ali who will be riding Silver Fox, owned by Zaynab Isa. Ali said he is confident of achieving a good result in the race.

Registration will continue tomorrow till the commencement of veterinary tests at 2.30pm at the Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The organising committee earlier approved the technical and judging teams for the championship.

The judging committee will be headed by Abdulsamad Al Busta and include Ghalib Al Alawi, Haider Al Zo'bi, Ali Ghuloom and assistant judge Haider Rafii.

The official commissioner is Mohammed Dadulla who will be assisted by Mahmood Abdulsaheb and Fahad Al Rumaihi.

Dr Abbas Al Haiki was named head of the veterinary committee which includes Ibrahim Yousef, Abu Obaida Adam, Mohammed Al Hammad, Mohammed Safi, Khalid Ahmed, Adam Sabeel, Abdulrahman Abulshook, Farida Abdulrazzaq, Sabad Al Ka'ab, Mirghani Jelani and Ahmed Dhaif.

Bahrainendurance.com

New Zealand Disease Specialists Learn from Australia Equine Flu - Jan 4 2008

Thehorse.com

by: The Horse Staff
January 04 2008, Article # 11111

New Zealand exotic disease specialists drafted into the equine influenza response team battling the outbreak of equine influenza in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, will apply knowledge gained through handling this outbreak to improve their emergency response system.

"From the NSW experience it is apparent that equine influenza could travel from one end of New Zealand to another in a very short time," said Helen Crabb, an epidemiologist from Waikato, center of New Zealand's equine industry. "The best way New Zealand can prepare veterinarians for outbreaks of exotic diseases is to send people to work on outbreaks across the world such as England's foot and mouth and Australia's (equine influenza)."

More...

Al Beloushi makes dream debut - Jan 4 2008

Gulfnews.com - Full story

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 04, 2008

Abu Dhabi: It was a dream debut for Rashed Ahmad Al Beloushi as the 14-year-old younger brother of Al Reef champion Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi won the Sorouh-sponsored 120-km Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup for Junior & Young riders here yesterday.

Rashed, whose elder brother was the top UAE rider of the 2006-07 season, unleashed a terrific final stage speed of over 33.96 kmph to move from fifth place to winner on 10-year-old chestnut mare Sekura.

The win was a proud moment for the family as Sekura is trained by Yousuf Ahmad at the Al Reef Stables in Al Ain, and made up for the champion's exit a few hours earlier in the three-day 240-km ride at the same venue.

More...

UAE: Sh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup - Day 2 standings

Sh Sultan bin Zayed al Nahyan Cup - 3 Days 240km
International Endurance Festival


Day 2 Standings

POS RIDER HORSE TIME AV SPEED
1 Mohd Hamad Mohd Saeed Ramalea Captain Star 7:05:43 22.55
2 Sh Khaled bin Sultan Al Nahyan Nemer 7:10:25 22.30
3 Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed Risco Moreno 7:10:34 22.30
4 Ali Mohd Al Muhairi Akasha Sansation 7:10:52 22.28
5 Mohammad Jasem Rahimi Joda Desert Comet 7:25:35 21.55
6 Khalid Abdul Rahim Al Hammadi Harmere Hariz 7:38:53 20.92
7 Deep Singh Devi Singh Abdashar Shahthungra 7:47:44 20.52
8 Mohd Aslam Hidayat Khan Yaldon Salim 8:08:49 19.64
9 Ispak Ali Yusuf Khan Bantu De Zamaglia 8:10:58 19.55
10 Kishor Singh Swaroop Singh Harmere Zeal 8:18:20 19.26
11 Julien Goachet I m Wired 8:18:35 19.25
12 Brenda Cooke Brandy 8:20:20 19.19
13 Abdulla Essa Mohd Al Buziri Kazkade 8:43:19 18.34
14 Sha Madiya H. Mana Al Maktoum Solid Asa Rock 9:22:33 17.07
15 Jiwan Ali Salemuddin Khan CR Goinfor Broke 9:24:10 17.02
16 Mohd Ibrahim KhalilAl Hammadi Yemen 9:32:24 16.77

Thursday, January 03, 2008

India: Madonna's horseback safari goes on

photo: Madonna enjoys a Marwari horse back ride in Jodhpur (TOI Photo)
Times of India article
4 Jan 2008, 0336 hrs IST,Prakash Bhandari,TNN

JODHPUR: Superstar Madonna is enjoying every moment of her desert vacation with riding breeches replacing her designer wear. The famous Marwari horses, known for their endurance, fascinated her so much that after enjoying a 28-km horse ride in the past two days, she returned to Rohetgarh fort from Chanwa Luni, a 20-km stretch, on Thursday, also on horseback.

The singer-actress reached Chanwa fort, a 19th century red sandstone structure converted into a heritage hotel, on a horse on Wednesday evening and enjoyed kite flying with her husband Guy Ritchie, two-year-old son David Banda and friends.

On a week-long holiday in the desert, Madonna spent Wednesday night at Fort Chanwa Luni, situated 25 km from Jodhpur. She also saw a puppet show.

"Madonna spent Thursday night at Rohetgarh fort heritage hotel. She would go to Sardarsamand on Friday, where the former ruler of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh, will host a lunch in her honour. She will spend Friday night at the art deco style Sardarsamand resort," said Siddharth Singh, one of Rohetgarh fort's owners.

Khem Singh, an expert on horse safaris and incharge of Madonna's equestrian exploits, said, "She came with her riding clothes. She was very keen on long rides during this trip. She galloped on the Marwari horse, a local breed with long hair on the head that makes it look very different." The Marwari breed, which gallops 80-100 km a day, is now being exported to the US, thanks to the efforts of horse lover, Franseca Kelly, and her Indian partner, Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod.

Khem Singh said Madonna sported jeans, a Texas cap and looked a cowboy every inch. Earlier she was spotted wearing Rajasthani bangles and a colourful chunri. The 'Material Girl' is also taking no chances on the security front. She has hired Israeli security guards for the trip. The guards plan her day in consultation with her personal staff.

India: Madonna's 28-km horse ride


Times of India article

3 Jan 2008, 0238 hrs IST,Prakash Bhandari,TNN

JAIPUR: It's difficult to surmise whether pop icon Madonna, 50, had a song on her lips as she cantered and galloped on a horse all of 28 km through the rough countryside of Rajasthan - with perhaps even the occasional sand dune thrown in - but what she did is a tribute to her fitness and an almost boundless sense of adventure.

Madonna, who rode 18 km on Tuesday, fell - while remaining steadfast on the saddle - for the experience in colourful Rajasthan by stretching her endurance for another 10 km on Wednesday. She took off from Kandhi village to Fort Chanwa Luni passing through villages, meeting and talking to villagers who did not recognise that they had an international A-list celebrity in their midst.

Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie, too, was part of the horse safari organised by Rohetgarh heritage hotel on Tuesday but preferred to ride an accompanying car - some would say throwing chivalry to the wind.

On a week-long holiday in Rajasthan, the diva is obviously enjoying her stay in the desert state with her husband and adopted son far from from the intrusive eyes of the paparazzi.

Even as the trip organisers kept their schedule a secret, the celebrity family along with their friends visited Fort Chanwa Luni, which has been developed into a heritage hotel by its owner Dalip Singh, the youngest son of Maharaja Ummaid Singh of Jodhpur.

Madonna, Ritchi, and the kid will spend the night in Fort Chanwa and return to Rohetgarh on Thursday before proceeding to Sardarsamand. They are to return to Jodhpur on Friday and fly to Udaipur on January 4, where they will stay at Hotel Shiv Niwas Palace.

UAE: Hazza takes vital lead over Al Beloushi

GulfNews.com
photo: Shaikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (right) and Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in action during the 240km ride in Abu Dhabi.

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 04, 2008, 00:43

Abu Dhabi: Defending champion Shaikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan carved out a seven-second lead over strong contender Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi after the first 80km in the three-day 240km Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup which started on Thursday.

Riding 10-year-old Akab, Shaikh Hazza was in fine form as he moved ahead of a strong line-up of riders at the Boudtheib Endurance Village in Al Khatem here yesterday.

Gruelling ride

With 20 of the 59 riders who started the gruelling 240-km ride being eliminated at the end of day one, Shaikh Hazza will start off with Al Reef champion Yousef Ahmad Al Beloushi on Zara Farm Chandali in second place.

Gulf News article

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Bahrain: National Guard Endurance Horseride Championship

Top stables eye endurance title
Bahrain Gulf Daily News - full article

RIDERS from leading stables are gearing up for the National Guard Endurance Horseride Championship to be organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) on Saturday at 6am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village premises in Sakhir.

This is the second event of the 2007-08 season and will include the first women's race of the season to be held over 100 kms.

Al Fateh Stable will be one of the leaing teams taking part in the women's race with Shaikha Muneera bint Salman Al Khalifa and her sister Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa top contenders for the individual title.

The sisters had a month-long extensive training programme under their father and coach Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa.

The sisters have thanked Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa for his support in organising the women's race.

Shaikh Nasser earlier said the Royal Endurance Team will not be allowed to participate in the event. This decision was taken with a view of providing an opportunity for other stables to take part in a high profile event like this.

The federation, meanwhile, have received confirmation from several stables, including the Kingdom's Stable from Saudi Arabia who will be taking part in this event for the second successive year.

The women's team include Alya'a Al Huwaiti, Latifa Al Shaikh, Noora Al Yousif, Sara Baban and team head Najeeb Al Burjus. The Saudi team will be sponsored by the Kingdom Holding Company chairman Prince Al Waleed bin Talal.

The event, to be held under the patronage of National Guard chief Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, will be divided into four stages - the first two stages will consist of 30 kms each, the third will be over 25 kms and the fourth 15 kms.

A men's race over 100 kms will also be held besides two qualifying races over 85-kms and 60-kms open to new riders and horses.

The 85-km race will be divided into three stages, 30 kms for the first two stages and 25 kms for the third while the 60-km event consists of two stages, each over 30 kms.

Among the top riders taking part in the men's race is Isa Ali who will be riding Silver Fox, owned by Zaynab Isa. Ali said he is confident of achieving a good result in the race.

Registration will continue tomorrow till the commencement of veterinary tests at 2.30pm at the Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The organising committee earlier approved the technical and judging teams for the championship.

The judging committee will be headed by Abdulsamad Al Busta and include Ghalib Al Alawi, Haider Al Zo'bi, Ali Ghuloom and assistant judge Haider Rafii.

The official commissioner is Mohammed Dadulla who will be assisted by Mahmood Abdulsaheb and Fahad Al Rumaihi.

Dr Abbas Al Haiki was named head of the veterinary committee which includes Ibrahim Yousef, Abu Obaida Adam, Mohammed Al Hammad, Mohammed Safi, Khalid Ahmed, Adam Sabeel, Abdulrahman Abulshook, Farida Abdulrazzaq, Sabad Al Ka'ab, Mirghani Jelani and Ahmed Dhaif.

UAE: Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup

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.

Proud

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.

Schedule

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.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Mexico CEI*** - Sheikha Madiya and Faberge PJwin Best Condition


photo: Sheikha Madiya Bint Hasher Al Maktoum riding Faberge PJ owned by Tracy Kaden of Flight Leader Farm

January 1, Endurance.Net

Faberge PJ, ridden by Sheikha Madiya of UAE, won the overall Best Condition award in the December 30 CEI*** 100 Endurance ride held in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The duo finished the 100 Mile event in second place with a time of 10:14.












photo: First place finisher Valerie Kanavy on King Ali Gold