Friday, September 09, 2011
ROYAL Endurance Team leader Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Al Khaldiya Stables captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will arrive today in France for the FEI 2011 European Open Endurance Horseride Championship, to be held tomorrow in Florac.
The pair will lead the Bahrain national endurance horseride team in the prestigious event, which features a challenging 16km ride.
Commencing at 5.30am (Bahrain time), the ride is organised by Lozre Endurance Equestre and will see some of the world's best riders competing for glory.
Leading contenders at the event are Spanish champion Maria Alvarez Ponton, who is set to defend her title on Nobby.
Among other riders taking part are some of the regional teams, including teams from the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The UAE, who have been dominating recent endurance rides, will be represented in tomorrow's event by only two riders. Qatar is scheduled to field six riders while Saudi Arabia will have two jockeys.
Out of 230 participation, only 171 representing 18 nations could be honoured by Lozre Endurance Equestre.
The Bahrain Royal Endurance Team, who are among major sponsors of the ride, will undergo veterinary examination today.
Participants from across the globe will escort their horses to the village for the veterinary tests that will take place at the National Park of the CŽzannes.
The weigh-in of all riders is also scheduled for today when the six-member Royal Endurance Team will also be approved by Shaikh Nasser.
The Florac 160km Championship will run through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.
Both Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid said they are excited to compete with the world's finest riders.
Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and chief of the Bahrain _Olympic Committee, said the Royal Endurance Team is keen to accomplish another outstanding achievement during their long camp in Europe.
On his part, Shaikh Khalid confirmed that the team's morale is high leading up to the championship, stressing on his teammates' intentions to claim a place on the podium and lift the Bahrain flag high.
The organising committee had a number of meetings, during which latest preparations were reviewed prior to the start of the championship.
Following the ride tomorrow, the prize-giving ceremony will take place on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Media and Information Centre of Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalfia issued a booklet that highlights the achievements of Bahrain endurance riders in recent years.
The booklet, entitled 'New Horizons', is sponsored by Mena Telecom and aims to promote Bahrain during endurance rides organised in Europe.
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