Saturday, February 06, 2010

Bahrain: Shaikh Khalid races to victory

February 07, 2010

THE Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa yesterday won His Majesty the King's Endurance Ride Championship, which headlined a glittering equestrian festival at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

His Majesty King Hamad attended the event, alongside National Guard commander Major General Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Shaikh Mohammed later awarded the winners their prizes on behalf of His Majesty the King, in the presence of Royal Endurance Team captain and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Shaikh Khalid.

Also present were Jordanian Equestrian Federation president Princess Alia bint Al Hussain and chairwoman of both the Royal Moroccan Equestrian Federation and Special Olympics Morocco Princess Lella Amina, who were in Bahrain especially for the event, which was organised by Breef and sponsored by Marsa Al Seef.

Riding Liqourice, Shaikh Khalid took first place after completing the five-stage, 120-kilometre ride in a total time of five hours, 43 minutes and 50 seconds. He registered an average speed of 20.94kph.

Shaikh Khalid ended the 30-km first stage in fourth place, but then fell to fifth after the 29-km second leg.


The Breef chief and Royal Endurance Team member returned to fourth after the 25-km third stage, but then powered to the lead after the 20-km fourth stage by when a majority of the participants were already out of the ride. One of them was Shaikh Nasser, who unfortunately had to retire due to health concerns for his horse Fabio.

Shaikh Khalid then capped his impressive performance by storming to victory in the 16-km final stage, earning him the right to lift His Majesty the King's Cup.

Fellow-Royal Endurance Team members Bagat Singh and Abdulhak Kaddouri claimed second and third places, respectively.

Singh, riding Jhelam, finished the ride in 5:44:02, while having an average speed of 20.03kph. Kaddouri completed the distance in 5:47:41, with an average speed of 20.71kph.

The juniors endurance ride, which was also held over 120 kms, was won by Mohammed Hilal Al Khatri of Al Asayel Stable, riding his horse Dixie Love.

In second place was Royal Endurance Team member Ahmed Adel Al Gaoud on Moondara Merlin, while Nasser Awad Ahmed of Al Muhqeerat Stable riding Al Fahd was third.

Meanwhile, other competitions were held yesterday as part of the equestrian festival. A showjumping event for Grand Prix-level riders took place and it saw the participation of a large number of Bahrain national showjumping team members.

Shaikh Hassan bin Rashid Al Khalifa won first place while Sami Ghazwan came second. Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa was third.

In the Arabian horse beauty contest, Ghazal Gulf owned by Sami Hassan Abdulla Abdulaziz took first place, while the Cowboy competition was won by Yahya Ahmed Jawad.

Photo Gallery by Osama Mohammed

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