Sunday, July 28, 2013

France: Khalifa tops World Endurance



Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on way to winning the World Endurance Championship for Junior and Young riders; the presentation ceremony for the winners. — Supplied photos

UAE’s endurance prodigy and gold medallist Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri followed in the footsteps of his father, Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, a former European Open Endurance Champion, after the teenager won the seventh leg of the 120-km FEI World Endurance Championship for Junior & Young riders at Tarbes Stud Farm in Southern France on Saturday.

The event was sponsored by the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festial under the directives of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The brilliant performer left 91 international contenders behind his back to put his 12-year-old Arabian mare Niac Armor on top gear and stormed home unchallenged.

“I’m truly delighted to see a new generation of UAE riders winning such huge international event. Khalfan gave his mare a great ride and she has been trotting keenly all the way. I think there’s much work that has been done to keep the mare in a sound condition after her trip from our headquarters in Abu Dhabi to France. But, at last everything went according to plan,” a jubilant endurance trainer Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri said later.

Meanwhile, 92 riders aged 14-21 from 28 countries have assembled to battle for the title of the grueling ride in Southwestern France.

“This is a great moment in my life and career and represents a promising start at the international level,” the brilliant rider said in a post race chat.

“I have been keeping trying and my father has been always supporting me. He’s too patient and tough at the same time. I would like to thank him for availing me the opportunity to display my skills as a rider and for preparing this lovely mare for the competition. It was a tough race and the speed was very high. My mare was always surprising me and I didn’t feel at any stage that she’s going to be beaten,” he said.

Mrijke Visser, astride Eomer, finished second to claim the silver as the Australian contender Erin Krahnen aboard Emily Jones TE walked away with the third place honours and the bronze medal. Then came Uruguay’s Oriana Ricca and USA’s Kelsey Russell.

Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and head of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities ( IFAHR) Ladies Racing thanked Shaikh Mansour for his support of Arabian racing and endurance.

“We appreciate Shaikh Mansour’s initiative and directives to sponsor this event that brought the juniors and youngsters of the world under one roof to promote the Arabian horse riding and racing,” she said.

“The Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will now be the major sponsor of the September 26-29, Garda Endurance Cup & Italian Championships, the FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses at Valeggio Sul Mincio, Italy,” she confirmed.

“There’s also more pleasant news to come in respect of the activities during the next season which marks the fifth anniversary of the World Arabian Racing Conference 2014, to be held in London,” she added.

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