Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shaikh Majid Emerges Victorious in Kentucky Cup Endurance Championship

Khaleej Times
16 October 2009
DUBAI — Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was the cynosure of all eyes at the Kentucky Cup Endurance event when he won the first place in the 120-km FEI CEI 2-Star ride in Lexington on Wednesday, a press release said.

Riding Kangoo d’Aurabelle le, 11-year-old Pure-bred Arabian grey gelding, Shaikh Majid, son of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, completed the ride distance in 06:05.30 riding an average speed of 19.70 kmph. The day featured two rides of 120 km and 160 km and five UAE riders took part in the 120-km ride. Both the rides, sponsored by the Emirates Equestrian Federation, are the official trial rides for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games which are scheduled to be held in Lexington, Kentucky from September 25 to October 10. It was a fabulous display of horsemanship and endurance combined together for Shaikh Majid as the weather played truant and made the ride route difficult. But Shaikh Majid finished first in all the four loops to emerge victorious. The rain was a recurring focus of the day, with a downpour shortly before the start of the rides. It continued throughout the day for all mandatory veterinary exams, creating a messy vet gate and 
slippery footing.

Reacting to his victory, Shaikh Majid said: “It was amazing. This is the sport that we most love. It’s our history. Given the weather today, the course was amazing. But the weather made it very difficult. There wasn’t any hard part, other than the ground being a bit slippery. Other than that, it was excellent. There wasn’t anything wrong or bad.”

Second and third places in the 120-km event respectively went to UAE riders Ahmed Salem Ali Sultan Al Sabousi who partnered 13-year-old Bess Ess-Ob in 06:05.31 maintaining an average speed of 19.70 kmph and Yaha Sughayer Kanoon Al Aljtabi who was astride nine-year-old Medjedra. He finished the ride in 06:20.30 with an average speed of 18.90 kmph. Mubarak Khalifa bin Shafya finished in the fifth place whereas Sultan Ahmed bin Sultan bin Sulayem finished in the seventh place. (Fourth place went to Spanish rider Jordi Arboix). As many as 35 riders from 25 countries were represented in the ride which saw 14 finishers.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognised by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of Shaikh Mohammed.