22 April 2010
By Roufan Nahhas
AMMAN - The International Wadi Rum Endurance Race, one of the toughest and most beautiful forms of horse racing, kicks off on Saturday with the participation of 55 riders representing four countries.
The event, to be held under the patronage of HRH Princess Alia, president of the Royal Jordanian Equestrian Federation (RJEF), will witness riders from Italy, Spain and Iraq, in addition to Jordan, taking on 160km and 80km of pure desert riding routes that will put the horse and its rider under severe testing condition.
Ghalia Noordein, executive manager of RJEF, told The Jordan Times that all preparations to host the event are being finalised.
"We want to make sure that everything is set according to the directives of HRH Princess Alia and that everything will go smoothly as planned," she said.
"We have a host of professional riders and their horses to compete in the race which we believe will give a competitive edge to the event and create one of a kind event," Noordein added.
The International Wadi Rum Endurance Race has gained popularity due to the calibre of riders taking part in the event who represent the best in the world while their magnificent beasts are trained according to the highest standards.
"We have excellent participation this year especially from local riders who have been training for such a long time for this event and we hope to conquer advanced positions," Noordein said.
According to Noordein, the winning horse in the endurance race is the first one to cross the finish line while stopping periodically to pass a veterinary check that deems the animal in good health and fit to continue.
The event, recognised by the Federation Equestre Internationale, will start early Saturday morning at 6:00am in the Qweira area while the pre-ride vet check will be held Friday.
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