Tuesday, November 29, 2016

UAE: Bouthieb Initiative Takes a Natural Desert Course

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

New endurance tracks pass through UAE's Natural Forestry Reserves

28 November 2016, Bouthieb, UAE ~ Once again His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan has taken ground-breaking steps at his Bouthieb Endurance Village. The CEI* 80km seasonal opener which took place on 25 November, saw the first phase of plans to return to a maximum use of natural tracks through the desert, not seen in the UAE endurance for many years.

New tracks passing through the UAE’s Natural Forestry Reserves

Friday’s Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Cup took riders ‘off track’ on a beautiful course created to naturally slow the speed and to challenge the skills of the riders. These new tracks cover approximately 30% of the course; water points were strategically placed and no cars were permitted in these areas. This provided a natural environment for riders to understand, appreciate and to respect the welfare of their horses, centre theme of the Boutheib Initiative.

This latest development instigated by His Highness was very much appreciated by both horses and riders. It made a welcome change to the relentless flat race speed tracks that we have become accustomed to seeing in UAE endurance venues. A measure of the success of this most enjoyable day was the 79% (122 riders) completion rate and a clinic that was virtually empty...

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