Thenational.ae - Full Article
February 27, 2014
After hours of racing through the desert, Mahra Al Shamsi recites the Quran to her horse to give it strength. Al Shamsi, an endurance horse racer from Ras Al Khaimah, will go to any length for her horse.
She competes for Seeh Al Salam stables in 80km, 100km and 120km events, a test of perseverance, strength and strategy for both horse and rider that may last five or six hours.
“I talk to my horse, I sing to my horse, and I recite the Quran to my horse during the race,” she says. “Sometimes when somebody passes by me, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, what did you say’?”
“I say, ‘No, I’m talking to my horse’. If you don’t connect with the horse, that horse is going to bound off or throw you off.”
Endurance horse racing has grown in popularity with young women since Al Shamsi, 27, took up the sport five years ago.
Training requires a minimum of two or three hours a day, four days a week. “Every season I do seven races, sometimes more,” she says...
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