Gulf-times.com - Full Article
March 6 2015
French legend Philippe Tomas leads a field of 58 in the 120km Endurance Championship at the CHI AL SHAQAB 2015 today. The only European contestant in the championship is a gold medal European team member and silver medallist at the 2012 World championship.
Riders from 10 countries will set off at Mesaieed. With a spectacular mass start at 5:00 in the morning they will set out for the Euros 200,000 prize money championship.
The first horse is expected at the finish line roughly six hours later.
One the most prominent athletes in the event will be the Frenchman Tomas, who has a reputation as a trainer and takes care of Al Shaqab horses when they are based in France. The world’s No.2 from Toulouse will ride Perlando HLM from Al Shaqab.
From his farm in Toulouse, Tomas runs a whole enterprise focused on long distance riding. For the European season, from March to October, he hosts around 100 horses from Al Shaqab stables, either for competition or breeding. The sport horses and their grooms go out for competition almost every weekend, either on 80 or 120 kilometre races, or do shorter stints, 40 or 60 kilometre for training towards the season in Qatar that opens in October again and lasts for the winter.
That way Tomas tours with a group of up to 15 horses every weekend, either riding one of his own horses or in company of the horses from Qatar. The Frenchman’s calendar has about 40 races per year.
Although Perlando HLM has spent two months on his farm, coming from Argentina and qualifying in Spain for larger events, Tomas will ride him for the first time. “If I can finish it will be a good result,” the only European contestant in the event, Tomas said...
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