Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bahrain: Show of Class

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa steered Musical Gully Pizzecato to victory in the International Endurance Qualifying Ride held yesterday at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The Bahrain Royal Endurance Team captain ruled the three-stage ride from start to finish, completing the event on top with a total ride time of three hours, nine minutes and 51 seconds, and an average speed of 22.28km per hour.

Behind him was his Royal Endurance Team mate Jaffer Mirza, riding El Khar, who finished second in 3:09:53 with a 25.28km per hour average speed.

Third overall was Raed Mahmood, also of the Royal Endurance Team, who steered Fascination to cross the finish line in 3:21:14 with a 23.85km per hour average speed.

The ride, which serves as a qualifier for international championships, saw a total of 70 riders from different stables in Bahrain, taking part.

It got underway at 6am. The first stage was over 30km. Shaikh Nasser completed the stage first in 1:13:22 with a 24.53km per hour average speed.

He was followed by Mirza in 1:13:38 with an average speed of 24.45km per hour, then veteran rider and coach Abdelhaq Kaddouri came third in 1:16:26 with a 23.44km per hour average speed.

Shaikh Nasser maintained his rhythm in the second stage, which was also over 30km, by finishing on top in 2:25:59 and 24.66km per hour average speed.

Mirza kept the pressure on Shaikh Nasser by staying a close second in 2:26:07 with an average speed of 24.45km per hour while Indian rider Ratan Singh, riding Zayed Shakhan, moved up to third in 2:39:45 and a 22.54km per hour average speed.

The third and deciding stage, which was over 20km, featured gruelling competition between Shaikh Nasser and Mirza towards the final metres. The former rider lived up to expectations to win first place overall.

Shaikh Nasser said the Royal Endurance Team's participation yesterday was successful and most of the riders achieved good results throughout the three stages.

On his part, Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa said he was pleased with the great turnout of riders for this event.

The Breef's chief praised the noticeable co-operation from the participants with the organisers which made the ride an all-round success.

He added that most of the riders completed all three stages and should finish two more similar events to become eligible to take part in any of the International Equestrian Federation championships.

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