TOP riders from Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman are in the fray for the Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Endurance Horseride Championship, sponsored by Maalem, today at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.
Today's event features one race each for men and women. In the six-stage men's race, which is over 160km, 40 riders representing 15 stables have confirmed their participation.
Among the leading entrants are Hussain Al Nayem, Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Khalifa, and Ali Ashoor, all from Al Fateh Stable.
Other favourite stables taking part include Al Asayel, Bahrain Riding School, Al Mughirat, Al Shuwamekh and Hassan Al Ruwaie Stable.
This challenging race, the main event of the day, is divided into six stages - 30km each for the first four stages, 25km for the fifth and 15km for the sixth.
The women's race, which is the first women's event of the season, will be over 120km divided into five stages.
The women riders include Saudi Arabia's Latifa Al Shaikh of the Kingdom's Stable, Layla Al Reda and Jamila Ahmed of the UAE besides Bahrain's Shaikha Najla bint Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa of Al Fateh Stable.
The women's race will be divided into five stages, including 30km each for the first and second, 25km for the third, 20km for fourth and 15km for the fifth.
An additional 100km open race, which is open to men and women of various age-groups, will see riders compete over four stages - 30km each for the first and second, 25km for the third and 15km for the fourth and final stage.
Attending the races will be Turkish actress Tuba Buyukustun who is the chief guest. The 26-year-old popular Turkish, known in the Arab region by Lamees, will award trophies and other prizes to the top riders.
The federation named its officials for both the veterinary and grounds jury committees. The veterinary committee is being headed by Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan and includes veterinarians from Poland, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, India and Bahrain.
Maximum weight allowed for participants in the 160km race is 75kg, which is also the limit for the women riders taking part in the 120km race.
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