Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 President's Cup - by Paula Nascimento

THE BEST RACE EVER

"The last loop was the cherry on the cake of this historical evidence, what we saw was an unprecedented fight with several changes of position and animals running as if on a great flat race track without fences. The exchanges were constant and less than 14 kilometers to arrive, it was impossible to say who would cross the finish line in front"

by Paula Nascimento - www.endurancebrasil.com.br

The title may sound exaggerated, but for those who are endurance enthusiasts, witness what happened last February 13, 2010 at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, has been elusive, and it is a privilege.

Again, it was sure that what happens in the Middle East is a different sport from the rest of the world. The world record was broken again this shows how hard and fought are the competitions in the UAE and this was evident with the top two broke the old record. The record continues with the horse of South African origin, Charlandre el Sharif, 13, from Al Reef Stables.

For the two Brazilian riders the race was short and lasted only one loop, both were eliminated by lameness. But it is inevitable to say that the experience was very worthwhile, since dropping to 106 sets at full speed is something that only happens in big races.

The disappointment of the Brazilians soon became an indescribable feeling. Andre Vidiz and Rafael Salvador, the breeder's Steinbruch Leo and Paul Saliba, and veterinarian Dr. Silvio Arroyo Filho were amazed at the competition as a whole and with the show they were watching. "We must see to believe" talked the whole time Leo Steinbruch, who besides breeder, is one of the most experienced riders in Brazil.

On Friday, the Brazilian squad is to follow the initial inspection. Andre Vidiz needed to change the mount because its not approved in the initial examination. After this time against the two representatives of Brazil were to know the horses they would ride. Rafael Salvador formed together with Amia, a mare of 13 years and Andrew Vidiz mounted Atlas of 12 years.

It was five o'clock in the morning when I, along with the two riders, Leo and Silvinho, we arrive at the competition venue. It was dark and cold, after talking about how it would support the riders with the Al Reefs Stables team, we see the start. 106 horss began to race at full speed and the poor visibility did not stop the riders speed on the track. We follow the Brazilians riders on the track. The number of cars that follow the horses is amazing and the difficulty of driving in soft sand, with low visibility, high speed and with cars and horses through all sides, makes it even more exciting.

In the first stage who arrived in leadership was Tayef Atiq Al Falah, the Wrsan Stables, riding the mare Uruguayan 11 years, Silvina. The group had a mean of 25.52 kilometers per hour, traversing the 34 km in only 1h17min and only 1min57s was already in the vet-check. The Brazilians arrived half an hour ago and were eliminated.

For the second step, unfortunately we received the two as companions in the car. The pace was breakneck speed was maintained and in some places the horses were faster than the cars. Who led this time was the representative of Estonia, Kaja tuisk, who rode the horse Kheops Lozelle, owned by Seeh Al Salam Endurance Stables, averaging 25.47 km / h and recovery time of 1 min27s. The following 33 sets were less than 4 minutes apart in the first place.

In the third step the lead back to the Wrsan Stables, but with another rider: Abdul Rahman Mohd Karam Shirouh, with the animal Nadja Lotoise. The speed was 25.27 kilometers / h and recovery was 1min41s seconds and there were 22 horses that were less than 4 minutes from the leader.

The fourth loop had the feared Tora Bora mountains with a lot of ups and downs, a total of 32. From inside the car, we saw the horses were crossing the Tora Bora with much more ease than the cars themselves, which often came down in reverse, they could not reach the top of the mountain.

The leadership was once again Tayef with teammate Abdul second. Tayef made 23.46 kilometers / h in the loop more difficult. The Tora Bora select who is able to get the victory, so that after this step we can see Ali Khalfan and Sultan Ahmed already in sixth and seventh place respectively, and 12 horses with less than 4 minutes for the first place.

In the fifth step, the leadership was assumed by Majed Mohd Salman Al Sabri, with Armin Zulu, 9 years, representing Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. His speed was of 24.55 km / h and took 1 minute and 29 seconds to enter the vet-check. Nine sets were at 2 minutes apart.

The last loop was the cherry on the cake of this historical evidence, what we saw was an unprecedented fight with several changes of position and animals running as if on a great flat race track without fences. The exchanges were constant and less than 14 kilometers to arrive, it was impossible to say who would cross the finish line in front. After much fighting and less than 10 km to arrive, we saw that the fight would be restricted to the Sultan Ahmed Al Baloushi riding Charlandre El Sharif, who held the world record and Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri riding Kalifa, aged 12. The speed was very high and when they reached the final stretch of 2 kilometers, speeds increased from 50 km / h when the two side by side.But at the end, the experience of small South African horse of only 1, 48m high worth more and this crossed the line ahead of his opponent, breaking his own record.

Now, the Al Reef Stables has the two speed world records, in 160 km and 120 km.

The average speed of the champion in the last step was of 33.22 km / h and the second in 33.06 kilometers per hour, totaling an average speed of 25.18 kilometers per hour Both have completed the 160 km in just 6 hours and 21 minutes.

Describe and express all the emotions of this last Saturday in Presidents Cup 2010 is difficult, but maybe say it was fantastic, is the closest to what you mean. It must see to believe and by luck and a lot of fighting, some Brazilians have been able to witness this spectacle.

Photos by Paula Nascimento here