Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bahrain: Five stages for endurance race

Gulf Daily News

ORGANISERS of the 120-kilometre Endurance Horseride Grand Prix, scheduled for Saturday, yesterday approved five stages for the race.

The Bahrain event, which is the second of a three-leg series and will be organised by the Bahrain Royal Endurance and Equestrian Federation (Breef), is taking place at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The Breef decided to have 30km for each of Saturday's first two stages, 25km for the third, 20km for the fourth besides 15km for the fifth and final stage.

In the first round of the 120-km Endurance Horseride Grand Prix, held at Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi, Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa steered Omsura Nasrohn to a fourth-place finish.

The hosts dominated the podium yesterday when Abdulla bin Hazim was the first to complete the race, followed by UAE's Presidential Affairs Minister Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in second place with compatriot Ahmed bin Harmash third.

The third and final round is scheduled for February 28 at Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Assalem where the rider with the highest number of points will be honoured. The top 10 riders in each race of the series are gaining points.

Among a race's top finishers, the winner earns 100 points, while second gets 80, third 70, fourth 60, and fifth 50 points. Riders classified sixth through 10th will also come away with points.

Each participating rider must weigh at least 75 kilograms without riding equipment, and must be registered with the International Equestrian Federation.

Meanwhile, Bahrain's Royal Endurance Team manager Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan said the team is training on daily basis ahead of this event, adding that he is confident to see his riders among the top finishers.

On his part, route committee head Fahad Al Rumaihi said the committee has finalised its preparations for this event which started last week.

Al Rumaihi said the committee's has succeeded in its mission thanks to directives from Shaikh Nasser and Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Breef general secretary and ground jury committee head Ghalib Al Alawi confirmed that his committee members are ready to receive the participants from Bahrain the UAE.

Al Alawi said this race promises to feature stronger competition than in the first round in Abu Dhabi as more riders from both countries have approved their participation for the second leg.

Shaikh Nasser, the Breef president, expressed his appreciation for race sponsors Unicorn Investment Bank, especially its chief executive officer Majid Al Rifaee.

Shaikh Nasser also said he was proud that Bahrain is hosting such a prestigious race, which has been approved by the International Equestrian Federation.

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