Friday, December 10, 2010
SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will lead a six-member Bahrain Royal Endurance Team in the inaugural round of the 2010 Giants Endurance Horse Ride Challenge tomorrow in Abu Dhabi.
The first ride of the season, set to take place at Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, will be over 120km and is divided into five stages.
Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports president and chief of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, will be joined by a group of elite Bahraini riders.
They are Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation's president and captain of Al Khaldiya Stables Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa, Yousef Taher, Ghazi Al Dossary and Ahmed Janahi.
The Bahraini riders, who also took part in the Season Open Championship and the Morocco-Bahrain Ride last month, arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
Shaikh Nasser, who finished second overall last season, said he is excited to come back to the UAE and compete with some of the region's top riders in this prestigious championship.
Among the prominent riders taking part is defending champion Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai who is also due to take part this season.
Shaikh Nasser said the Bahrain team decided to participate in the first round after a series of impressive results in recent regional and international championships.
He stressed his faith in members of the Bahrain team to produce outstanding results in tomorrow's round, adding that his rides are determined to claim podium places this season.
On his part, Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa said the new season of the Giants Endurance Challenge is regarded a crucial step for the Bahraini team towards reaching higher standards.
He confirmed that the team will take part while being managed by a group of experienced trainers who prepared the horses right after their departure from Morocco.
Shaikh Khalid believes the Giants Endurance Challenge is a great opportunity for the Bahraini riders to get more experience and confidence as they face off with top UAE riders.
Meanwhile, the veterinary examination is set for today at the Al Wathba Endurance Village while several of the Bahrain team members underwent training yesterday.
After an intense battle last season, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum won the third leg of the Giants Endurance Challenge, emerging champion of the three-leg ride.
Staged at the Dubai International Endurance City at Seih Assalam, the 120-kms ride was graced by His Majesty King Hamad and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance.
Both King Hamad and Sheikh Hamdan crowned Sheikh Mohammed as champion of the Challenge while Sheikh Nasser was also honoured for taking second place overall.
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