December 8, 2012, Abu Dhabi Press Release ~ Teenager Khalifa Al Khalfan Al Jahouri partnered the 12-year-old gelding Leo to glory for owner Saied Suhail Ali Al Yabouni in the CEN 100 km Wathba Cup endurance ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village (EIEV) at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, on Saturday.
The race was held to support UAE small stables and private owners under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, who attended the race along with Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
HH Sheikh Mansoor commented in a post-race chat, “It’s good to see 53 UAE riders lining up in this race which is made to support them. The riders also have committed to the rules and regulations and this is a positive indication. I’m delighted to see this teenager winning here which marks the birth of a champion in the making.”
The race was contested over 100km divided into four stages comprised of 33 km, 27 km, 24 km and 16 km.
The winner going well completed the first loop in third position before he made a smooth progress to hit the front by the end of the second vet Gate and held on brilliantly in the last two stages to take the win in three hours, 50 minutes and 19 seconds at an average speed of 26.51 KMPH.
Abdulla Almur Saeed bin Helwa, astride Lanamere Harrison, finished second in four hours, six minutes and 33 seconds and behind him in third was Ahmed Mohammed Al Jaber in four hours nine minutes and 13 seconds.
The top three were chased home by Ahmed Saeed M ohammed Al Faresi aboard Paloma (4.14.20seconds) and lady rider Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha who was astride Natziz (04.14.20seconds).
“This is my first win,” said a jubilant school boy who’s studying at the American school in Al Ain City. “I have been riding for the last two years and it’s great to claim my first win while we are celebrating the 41st anniversary of the National Day, and would like to dedicate the trophy to Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” he added.
A total purse of Dhs500,000 including the prize-money and a car were presented to the top finishers by Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Lara Sawaya, director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR) Ladies Racing, Ali Al Mulla, chairman of Areej Al Ameerat, Saif Al Awani, managing director of Al Awani and Abdul Rahman Al Rumaithi, Controller of EIEV,
Sawaya said, “The personal attendance of HH Sheikh Mansur bin Zayed and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid was a big motivation and encouragement for the riders. The success of the event is evidence that the races are paying dividends.”
The prestigious National Day Cup race will take place at the same venue on Saturday and total prize money on offer is Dhs500,000 including a car.
Nuami said several top riders are expected are expected to be in the fray in the CEI two-star 120 event.
A special hospitality tent has been reserved for the visitors and guests in the village and a lucky winner in a raffle draw will get invitation, along with his/her companion to attend one of the festival’s races courtesy of Emirates Airlines.
Top5 (Provisional results)
1. Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (Leo) Al Ai Enduracne Stable.
2. Abdullah Almur Saeed Bin Helwa (Lanamere Harrison) Al Amardy Pvt Stables.
3. Ahmed Mohammed Al Jaber (Lanamere Rondo Al Jaber Stables.
4. Ahmed Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi (Paloma) Private Individual Owners.
5. Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha (Natziz) Bin Habib Endurance Stables.