Friday, January 23, 2009

Abu Dhabi: Ladies endurance day

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

M. Satya Narayan
January 24, 2009

Abu Dhabi: Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi and Australian ace Margaret Wade drove away with a 4WD car each after finishing first and second in yesterday's Sorouh-sponsored Shaikha Fatima Bint Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ladies Endurance Challenge 90-km ride at Emirates International Endurance Village.

For Afra, it was a great win as she started the final stage behind the experienced Wade, who has won the Australian National Championship four times and has a lot of experience riding in the World Cup.

But riding Al Reef horse Kassalo, Afra rode the final 16 kms at an average speed of 27.55 kms to finish with almost two minutes to spare. Wade, who finished the first 30-km stage in second place then forged ahead and led for the next two stages of 24kms and 20kms.

However Afra's horse Kassalo, a 14-year-old part Arab trained by champion Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi, did well to overturn an 18-second deficit into a comfortable win.

"Last year I won at the Al Asayel Ladies championship series and this is another great win for me. It was really very tough as the pace set by the riders was very high," said the winner, who was given the keys to her car by young Shaikha Fatima Bint Mansour Bin ZayedAl Nahyan.

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