19 August 2017, UK ~ The HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters got off to a flying start with UAE riders taking top honors in three out of four rides on Day 1 at Euston Park, UK.
160km CEI 3*
In the 160km CEI 3* event, UAE rider Salem Hamad Saeed Malhoof AL KITBI and his mount Kilim De Jansavis finished as champions. Al Kitbi started slowly, falling to 12th position in the second loop, but the pair was able to gradually make their way up the field to take top spot.
Speaking later he admitted he didn’t really believe he had a serious chance of winning. “It was a very good race and long and hard, and the weather was changing, it ws sunny and raining at times. To be honest since I started the race this morning, I didn’t think I had much of a chance to win, but this is luck, and I like the horse, this is his first 160 km race, he is seven years old and he is a champion horse.
“We are not used to the cold conditions here we are Arabs, but it was a very good race. This is my first time winning here at Euston Park, and winning a 160km ride as well.”
In the 120 km CEI 2* ride, the UAE riders were dominant, for a 1, 2, 3 finish
Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi aboard Aspenview Amir took top spot, while Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri came in second aboard Castlebar Jumeirah and Mohd Ahmad Mohd Ghanim al Marri came in third with his mount Fagor.
Speaking later Al Harbi said “The UAE finished first second third, but it was a hard race because of the rain. I feel grateful that we won, and the horse is feeling good. The course was a bit hard, especially the first loop. “
80km CEI 1*
In the 80km CEI 1* event Annelie Erikkson of Sweden finished first, while the UAE grabbed the remaining two spots on the podium through Ali Abdulrahman Belghuzooz AL ZAROONI aboard Alaurza and Hassan Salman Hassan Mohammad AL SABRI riding Ursula De Plouvorn.
Speaking later Al Zarooni said “I am happy because I finished second, and it was a good race. The course was good, and the horse was very good, she finished with a gallop. My next ride will be in Dubai.”
With over 600 horse-rider pairings from across the world expected to compete over the weekend, as part of the HH Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters, the festival is one of the largest endurance events ever in Europe.
This is the third and final leg of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival. The first two legs were held in Barcelona, Spain and Pisa, Italy respectively to enthusiastic response. The final leg is being Presented by Longines and sponsored by Azizi Developments.