22 March 2009
ABU DHABI - President’s Cup winner Yousef Ahmed Al Baloushi won the Shaikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge 2 FEI CEI 119km Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village at Al Wathba on Saturday.
The champion trainer, from the famed Al Reef Stables, finished with a time of four hours, 36 minutes and 44 seconds. Harmke Margreta Westervelt of The Netherlands, astride Khaki, was second with a time of four hours, 39 minutes and 48 seconds, while Saeed Mohd Al Jaber Al Marri of the UAE, riding Hurst Kariba, from the Al Reef Stables, was third with a timing of four hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds.
World Endurance champion Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain, who had won the Al Jaber Group Endurance Cup for ladies UAE CEN 92km Endurance Ride earlier on Friday, was fourth. Maria, astride Vendetta from the Emirates Stables, had a time of four hours, 47 minutes and 51 seconds. Hassan bin Ali of the UAE, riding Centre Traveller, was fifth, with a time of four hours, 56 minutes and 17 seconds. It was a keen tussle between Yousef and Harmke but Yousef held on, to prevail in the end. Yousef, astride Carallio, finished the first loop of 32km in third spot before jumping to the top spot in the 27km second loop. He maintained the top position in the third stage of 24km before he dropped a spot to second by the end of the 20km fourth loop. But Yousef fought back to finish the fifth loop of 16km in top spot. He had an average speed of 25.80.
Harmke, meanwhile, finished the first stage in sixth spot before jumping to second after the second loop. Harmke held on to the second spot in the third loop as well before making a charge in the fourth loop to grab the top spot. But Harmke slipped up to eventually finish second.
Maria staged a splendid fightback to finish fourth. She had finished the first stage in 30th position, before working her way up.
She ended the second loop in 17th place before jumping to 10th after the third loop. She moved to the third spot after the fourth stage but dropped down a spot to finish the fifth loop in fourth position.
Around 80 riders took part in the Ride which was organised by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
The Ride was held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. The event had a total prize money of Dh550,000 and Yousef won a Nissan Patrol car. Harmke was richer by Dh50,000, while Saeed Mohd Al Jaber Al Marri got Dh 45,000. There were cash prizes for the Best Conditioned Horse Competition as well.
Yousef Ahmed Al Baloushi (UAE (Carallio) (Al Reef Stables) 4:36.44 seconds
Harmke Margreta Westervelt (Ned) (Khaki) (Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum) 4:39.48s.
Saeed Mohd Al Jaber Al Marri (UAE) (Hurst Kariba) (Al Reef Stables) 4:47.43s.
Maria Alvarez Ponton (Esp) (Vendetta) (Emirates Stables) 4:47.51s.
Hassan bin Ali (UAE) (Centre Traveller) (Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum) 4:56.17s