Thursday, February 10, 2011

Abu Dhabi: Stage set for 90 riders to undergo gruelling 160km Endurance Cup

Sport360.com

Friday, 11 February 2011

Ninety riders from over 10 countries are set to lock horns in the His Highness The President of United Arab Emirates Endurance Cup on Saturday.

Fifteen riders from the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Slovakia will line up alongside their counterparts from the UAE and the GCC in the 160km endurance horse race at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, as they bid to become the first-ever non-Emirati winners of the event.

Starting at 6am and running until 10.30pm, the race is split into six phases of between 16km and 34km, with two recovery inspection periods after the fourth and fifth loop. Last year’s race was won by Sultan Ahmed Al Bloushi, on Charlandre El Sharif, in a time of 06:21:12.

And the rider has again been in good form this season, winning the National Day Cup in December.

The top-three riders will each get their hands on a set of keys for a shiny new car, as will the winners of the team event.

The race is run under the directives of His Highness The President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, under the supervision of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs.

The event is also held in conjunction with the Al Wathba Stud Farm, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage, Invest AD, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2011, Areej Al Ameerat and HSBC Bank.

Declan Hegarty, HSBC’s Managing Director and Head of Business, Abu Dhabi said: “HSBC is proud to support Abu Dhabi and ADIHEX in celebrating Emirati culture and pastimes as the UAE continues to set the model of economic development for the Middle East.”

On a positive day for purebred Arabian horses, it was also announced by the Global Arabian Horse flat Racing Festival that the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference would be back for a second year, to be held in The Hague.

The conference will be held from June 16-18 and follows from the successful 2010 event that took place in Abu Dhabi.

By Martyn Thomas