Saturday, January 14, 2012

UAE: Al Merri takes Endurance Cup after close battle with Al Hazza - Full Article

Hamdan retires when leading in penultimate stage to preserve horse

By M. Satya Narayan, Chief Sports ReporterPublished: 00:00 January 15, 2012

Abu Dhabi: Young Abdullah Ganem Al Merri of Nad Al Sheba Stables partnered Shardell Alladeen to win the prestigious His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, a 160-km Three-star ride held at the Dubai International Endurance City yesterday.

The ride was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

After Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, retired his horse when leading in the penultimate stage, Al Merri got the better of Bahraini rider Ahmad Abdullah Al Hazza on Picaflor with their close battle going all the way to the final kilometre before the UAE rider won by 27 seconds.

With the Dubai Equestrian Club adopting a five-stage ride for the 160-km event for the first time, Al Merri went into the final 19-km loop third behind Al Hazza with well over a minute separating the two riders. He then increased his final loop speed on the 12-year-old to average 28.43 kmph in comparison to his fourth loop average speed of just over 21-kmph and that proved decisive...

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