Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Abu Dhabi: Ponton facing a stiff challenge in Al Wathba for 90km race - Full Article

Amith Passela

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2011

ABU DHABI // Maria Alvarez Ponton, the world champion from Spain, will be challenged by more than 30 Emirati women in the Al Jaber Challenge, a 90-kilometre CEI one-star endurance race tomorrow at the Emirates International Endurance Village (EIEV) in Al Wathba.

Ponton, who trains endurance horses in Dubai, won the world title from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in September. She heads a 70-runner, women-only field.

"We started with one race at Al Wathba two years ago and it doubled last year," said Adnan Sultan al Nuaimi, the secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

"We have two races already planned for the new season, and may have a third before the season ends.

"There is a lot of interest among the Emirati women to ride in competitions and the numbers are increasing at every race..."

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