Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bahrain: UAE riders for Grand Prix

Gulf Daily News

UAE vice-president, Prime Minister and the ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will lead a strong field of UAE riders in the 120-kilometre Endurance Horseride Grand Prix. Eighteen of the UAE's best riders have confirmed their participation in this race which is the second round of the series and takes place on Saturday at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir. Shaikh Hamdan and Shaikh Majid, sons of Shaikh Mohammed, will also be in the fray.

Prominent UAE entrants include UAE's presidential affairs Minister Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Ahmed Harmash, who came second and third, respectively, in last month's first race of the series at Emirates International Endurance Village in Abu Dhabi.

Other participants are Tahnon Al Beloshi, Mubarak Khalifa, Hassan Al Beloshi, Buti Al Mazrooi, Salem Al Sabosi, UAE-based South African Gerardson Foslo, Joseph Tick of Astonia, Ahmed Al Mirri, Khalifa bin Galatya, Abdulla Saeed, Ali Al Sabri and Hamad Al Ghuwais.

A delegation from Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Media Office yesterday arrived in Bahrain and inspected the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The UAE officials praised the preparations of the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) to host this round of the championship.

The race will be telecast live on Bahrain Sports Channel. Officials from the channel also toured the race venue by Shaikh Nasser's Media Office director Tawfeeq Salehi who explained the latest preparations at the village.

The organising committee has finalised its preparations through arranging the facilities inside the village besides preparing the race route.

Meanwhile, the Bahraini riders continued to gear up for the Bahrain event, to be sponsored by Unicorn Investment Bank.

Breef president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and his brother Shaikh Khalid will lead the Bahraini hopes in this race which will be divided into five stages.

The first and second stages will each cover 30km, the third will be over 25km, 20km for the fourth besides 15km for the fifth and final stage.

Shaikh Nasser steered Omsura Nasrohn to a fourth-place finish in the first round while Shaikh Khalid, who was unable to complete the race, said he is determined to make a strong comeback on Saturday.

Both Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid are looking to take a place on the podium before heading for the third and final round, scheduled for February 28, at Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Assalem.

After the deciding race, the rider with the highest number of points will be crowned overall champion. The top 10 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.

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