Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kuwait: Bahrain Royal team for Kuwait event

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will lead a 12-member Bahrain Royal Endurance Team at the 120-km Kuwait Open Endurance Horseride Championship scheduled for Saturday. The Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president will be accompanied by Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, captain of Al Khaldiya Stables, besides 10 other members of Bahrain's finest riders who are expected to reach Kuwait today.

They are Yousif Taher, Jaffer Mirza, Abdulrahman Al Saad, Ahmed Abdulla, Mohammed Al Thawadi, Abdulhaq Qadori, Ahmed Abdulsamad, Raed Mahmood, Fahad Ismail and Abdulrahman Al Zayed.

Team manager Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan had already arrived in Kuwait to arrange the accommodation and training venue for the team.

More than 100 riders from Kuwait, Bahrain and other GCC countries are taking part in the championship to be held at Kabad desert located in the southwest of Kuwait as part of Kuwait's National Day celebrations.

The race, which provides a total prize money of $50,000, will be divided into five stages, including 30km each for the first two stages, 25km for the third, 20km for the fourth and 15km for the fifth.

The prize includes $10,000 for the winner, $9,000 for second place and $8,000 for third.

The veterinary examination is set for tomorrow while Breef general secretary Ghalib Al Alawi was named head of the ground jury committee. Other committee members are Abdulsamad Al Busta, Mohsin Al Battal of Kuwait besides Eyad, Nasser, Yaqoob Al Khalaf, Ali Faraj, Falah Fahad, Ali Ghuloom and Mohammed Dadulla.

Commenting on this participation, Shaikh Nasser said he is excited to take part in this event which brings his memory back to 2005 when they won top positions in a similar race which was also held in February.

Shaikh Nasser added that this race will be a useful experience for his team who are gearing up for the third and final round of the Endurance Horseride Grand Prix scheduled for February 28 in Dubai.

After two rounds, Shaikh Nasser is holding third place overall with 140 points, just 10 behind UAE riders Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan who are sharing the lead.

Shaikh Mohammed, the UAE vice-president, Prime Minister and the ruler of Dubai, steered Tahhan to win the second round race which was over 120km and staged at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

After coming fifth in the first round race held in Abu Dhabi where he won 50 points, Shaikh Mohammed gained 100 points for winning top spot in the second race.

For Shaikh Mansoor, he was given 80 points after finishing second in Abu Dhabi then 60 points for coming fourth in the Bahrain event, received an extra 10 points for riding the same horse in both races.

Shaikh Nasser took 60 points for coming fourth in the first race and 80 after finishing an impressive second in the second race.

The Breef chief is being followed by Shaikh Hamadan, son of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with 70 points gained from taking third place overall in the second race of the series.

Shaikh Hamdan was unable to win any points in the first race in Abu Dhabi where he had to pull out after his horse suffered from exhaustion.
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