Abu Dhabi /Â WAM
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAEâ€ˆand Ruler of Dubai, attended the prestigious The UAE President
Endurance Cup, held at the Emirates International E
ndurance Village, Al Wathba,
Present at the 160-km ride was HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince.
Saeed Mohammed Khalifa Al Mehairi riding 13-year-old bay gelding Shaddad scripted a great win over young Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on 8 Minute to win The UAE President Endurance Cup, held on Saturday at the Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.
The UAE riders dominated and took eight of the top ten places in the 160-km ride which earlier in the morning started with 205 riders drawn from all over the world.
The event was also attended by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Higher Council of Youth and Sports in Bahrain and Chairman of the Royal Equestrian Team and many other VIPs.
Al Mehairi on Shaddad, a horse hailing from popular MRM Stables, worked his way into the leaders pack after starting from 28th position in the first loop. The younger Khalifa Ali Khalfan on 8 Minute had a better ride and in the very first loop was placed 3 and also led the pack in the third, fourth and penultimate loops.
Al Mehairi on Shaddad, with a steady pace of just over 25kmph for most of the ride was third in the fourth loop and in the penultimate loop finish just behind the leader Khalifa. It was in the final loop that Shaddad proved superior to 8 Minute and the MRM rider completed the 160-km ride in 6 hours 20 minutes and 51 seconds to score a great victory.
Khalifa finished less than two minutes behind the winner while in third place was Suhail Al Ghailani on Khalifa.
Commenting on the win of MRM Stables, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, “Iâ€™m happy with the win because everybody will feel happy. I had told the rider to ride patiently and he has done just that and he paced his horse accordingly. He followed the instructions and the horse picked up nicely.”
He also praised the effort of the runner up Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and the good form of his horse. “The race was tough and the riders fought fiercely. It was a real competition,” he added.
UAE lady rider Shathra Al Hajjaj on J. Star finished 7th and all the top ten riders were awarded posh cars for their winning efforts.
Dr. Ghanem Al Hajeri, Secretary-General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Mubarak Al Nuaimi-Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Khaled Hussain, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, Najla Nasser from National Feeds and Flours, Dr. Stefano Daneri, Ahmed Al Qubaisi from Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Ahmed Saeed from Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department, Humayun Alam from Al Masoud Automobiles and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) presented the trophies and car keys to the top 10 riders.
“It was a great ride today and the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed and other leaders have made this event a memorable one,” Sawaya added.