August 28 2012
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, raised the UAE flag at Euston Hall in Suffolk, England, on Saturday after winning the FEI World Endurance Championships 2012. The UAE also took 2nd and 3rd place along with team gold.
One hundred and fifty-two riders from 38 countries rode through the beautiful English countryside to cover 160km in just over seven hours. On his 12-year-old French-bred chestnut horse, Madji du Pont, Sheikh Mohammed raced through what he described as “good conditions.”
Sheikh Mohammed and his family’s passion for horses is well known. His father, the late Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, taught him and his brothers how to ride at a young age and in doing so planted a deep love and respect for this magnificent animal.
The efforts and hard work of Sheikh Mohammed for equestrian sports began many years ago and have cemented the UAE’s profile in the equestrian field and established a strong foundation for the sports which has been thriving in recent years.
In 1992 he established the racing stable Godolphin which has grown into one of the biggest, most successful breeding and racing stables in the world. Their results span all over the globe with wins from Australia to America.
The Dubai World Cup was created by Sheikh Mohammed in 1996. In 2010 it became the world’s richest horse race with a prize fund of $10 million. The event draws in equestrian enthusiasts from all over the globe who come to watch the elite of thoroughbreds compete.
Sheikh Mohammed has shown himself to be a true athlete. With many Endurance wins, Sheikh Mohammed has led the UAE Endurance team to high success and they continue to dominate at major championships around the world.
To be able to obtain such results requires both horse and rider to possess great fitness, stamina and be in peak condition. For a man with Sheikh Mohammed’s responsibilities to come out and win such a tough race is admirable to say the least.
He continues to inspire people with his dedication to equestrian sports and knowledge about the animal he holds so dear. His accomplishments are a fine example to the people of the UAE that through sheer hard work, pure ambition and a clear vision one is capable of accomplishing greatness. His horse sense is like a lion’s roar.
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