Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bahrain: Royal team horse tops FEI ranking

Gulf Daily News

ROYAL Endurance Team horse Mexico has been ranked first in the latest International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Horses' World Ranking, issued by the FEI yesterday. The Bahraini horse moved to the top of the list among 2,237 horses from across the world with the highest total of points of 595, beating UAE's Tazoul El Parry (583 points) who is presently second overall.

Third is Qatari horse Lasan (546), followed by Spenda Crest Kanolflage (536) of the UAE in fourth place, Uruguay's Llamarada (471) is fifth and Malaysian horse Texas (465) sixth.

Seventh is Australia's Ferrymaster At Webbs Creek (456), followed by Moolmanshoek Roes (447) of South Africa while Moolmanshek Pula (435), also from the Bahrain Royal Endurance Team, is ninth overall.

Mexico's achievement followed his success in nine different competitions last year, including the World Endurance Championship held in Malaysia two months ago when he was steered by Royal Endurance Team rider Ghazi Al Dossary to a ninth-place finish among the world's best entrants.

The Bahraini horse, presently in France, is being prepared for upcoming international events like the next edition of the World Cup to be held in Italy in September.

Bahrain Royal Endurance Team technical manager Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa expressed pride for the impressive accomplishment which, he said, underlined the abilities of the horse.

It was Shaikh Daij who recommended the horse after he was given the green light by team captain and president of the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

After finishing ninth overall in the World Championship in Akhn, Germany, Shaikh Daij was assigned to monitor a number of good horses competing in different races.

Shaikh Daij followed up Mexico's participation in a race in Namibia which was over 160km. In that race, the horse took a place on the podium by finishing third overall.

According to Shaikh Daij, Mexico's maiden challenge in Bahrain was His Majesty King Hamad's Endurance Championship last year when he came ninth.

Mexico continued to compete in local and international races which were part of his preparations for the Malaysian World Championship.

Shaikh Daij said the horse had competed in nine different races since he joined the Royal Endurance Team and he was never eliminated in any race which underlines his physical strength, stamina and endurance.

Royal Endurance Team manager Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan said the outstanding result of Mexico has never been achieved by any horse from any Bahraini stable.

Hassan confirmed that the achievement will be a major motive for all Bahraini riders to keep up their momentum in future championships and raise the Bahrain flag high abroad.

He praised the efforts of Shaikh Daij in bringing the horse to the team and also thanked Shaikh Nasser for his continued support to the team in specific and to other endurance stables in general.

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