Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Bahrain Claims Dual Gold; Late Sprint Backfires for UAE

HorseSport.com - Full Article

Butheeb successfully organized the delayed 2022 World Endurance Championships, but a 36% completion rate shows the sport still has work to do.

By: Horse Sport staff | February 27, 2023

HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain has finally become the world endurance champion, also claiming team gold at Butheeb, Abu Dhabi, on Saturday. Sh Nasser has aimed for a senior title since 2004, starting in 19 championships and completing 14 of them. This time he finally did it, with 10-year-old Darco La Majorie, also recent winner of a 160-km race in Sakhir.

Nasser was not first over the line after a racing finish at speeds touching 30kph at times with the three Emiratis who had flanked him over the six loops. As so often in endurance the winner was not immediately confirmed as the tense final vetting stage ran its course. It was close call for Nasser; he left it near to the maximum final presentation time, but Darco La Majorie was able to return to a heart rate of 63 beats per minute (the maximum permitted was 64) and an average overall speed of 21 kph.

The final spurt was too much for prospective winner Abdullah al Marri and second over the line Ahmad al Harbi. Their horses vetted out with heart rates of 70-plus. This pushed the host side out of the team medals; the UAE’s two other two riders had been vetted out earlier in the competition. However, the UAE’s defending world champions Salem Hamad Saeed Malhoof Al Kitbi and Haleh claimed individual team silver...

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