(Hisham Al Gizouli)
1 January 2010
ABU DHABI - Al Reef Stables swept the first three places in the opening day of the 240km Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed International Festival Endurance Race at Bu Dheeb Endurance Village here on Thursday.
UAE rider Munzir Ahmed Al Baloushi from Al Reef Stables took the first place honours and behind him came stable-mate Yousuf Al Bloushi as Sultan Ahmed Al Bloushi took the third place honours.
The competition has attracted 103 riders from both sexes lining up for the Dh 1.5m in prizemoney.
The winner covered the 80km first phase of the ride in three hours fifteen minutes and 19 seconds to cross the finish line two seconds ahead of runner up while Sultan was 20 seconds back in third.
The competitions will resume on Friday morning at the same venue with all the riders who completed the race eligible to take part and improve their respective positions.
Meanwhile, more than fifty riders have registered for the 120km Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Endurance Ride for privately owned horses which is set to start under the early rays of the sun at Bu Dheeb.
The race was attended by Shaikh Dr. Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brother Khaled bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
According to the organisers, the first priority of the organising committee will be the safety of the riders and the welfare of their horses.
The organising committee has also thanked Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his strong support and follow up which has positively reflected on the performance of the riders and the success of the event.