Gulfnews.com - Full Article
* By M. Satya Narayan, Chief Sports Reporter
* Published: 16:00 November 25, 2011
Around 200 riders have confirmed their entries for Saturday's prestigious National Day Cup endurance ride to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba
Abu Dhabi Around 200 riders have confirmed their entries for Saturday's prestigious National Day Cup endurance ride to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.
The National Day Cup, which has a 15-year history, is a CEI two-star event and will be run over 120km, with almost all the top riders in the UAE to be joined by some international riders.
The defending champion is Sultan Ahmad Al Beloushi, who won last year on Marlicia Walter. The Al Reef Stables rider also went on to win the HH President's Cup ride over 160km and is expected to be among the favourites today, along with the likes of Yousef Ahmad Al Beloushi.
This year's European Open champion, Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri from Al Wathba Stables, will also be in with a good chance.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, said: "With the UAE marking its 40th year, the event holds a lot of significance to the riders and officials.
"A total prize fund of Dh300,000 and a car for the winner of the ride will be on offer. We expect the number of starters to exceed 200 but a final figure will be known after the pre-ride veterinary check."
First of a series of equestrian events
Lara Sawaya of Tasweeq said: "This is just the first of a series of equestrian events to mark the UAE National Day. The National Day Cup will be followed by another prestigious ride for ladies and we will give details of that event soon.
Today's ride was due to start at 6.30am and will be run in five different loops of 33km, 27km, 24km, 20km and 16km.
Ali Al Mulla, Chairman of Areej Al Ameerat, who are one of the sponsors, said: "For us it is a source of great pride to be involved in this prestigious ride. We have seen this ride develop into one of the most popular events on the UAE endurance calendar and being a sport involved with the UAE's past, we are delighted to support it."
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