Monday, January 18, 2016

UAE: Going the distance on 4 legs - Full Article

Horses in Dubai endurance race enjoy royal treatment; discipline is FEI's fastest growing

January 17 2016
Jonathan Wong

They are subjected to strict medical checks throughout the gruelling race in the desert and have a team waiting to massage their feet and fetch buckets of cold water to refresh them, while electric fans are brought out to keep them cool during the intermittent breaks.

While this sounds like a typical scene from a marathon race involving elite athletes, there is one telling difference.

These competitors run on all fours. Meet the stars of the equine world of endurance racing.

Nothing is spared to keep these horses - mostly Arabian-bred and famed for their stamina and durability - comfortable and in the best physical shape, explained rider Prutiratr Serireongrith.

Volunteers line the dusty circuit with plastic bottles of water in hand, passing them to the riders who rarely take a sip but empty the contents onto their mounts to keep them hydrated.

"The horses are the No. 1 priority. No one really cares about us, the ones sitting on top," chuckled Prutiratr...

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