HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Sponsors Endurance in Capitals Challenge outside of Paris
16 October 2017, Paris, France ~ Arthur Desprez riding 8-year-old Verseau D’Aurabelle led a clean sweep of the French riders in the CEI Two-star 120-km HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup held on Saturday, 14 October 2017 in the forest of Fontainebleau about 60 kms from the French capital of Paris.
Desprez and his horse were in 5th place when they started on the final stage of 23kms. Until then they had averaged just over 20kmph, but in the final stage Desprez increased the pace to 25.89 kph gaining the lead from Laetita Pegaz Tocquet on Vegas De Majorie, with only one second separating the two riders. The winner completed the four-stage 120-km ride in a timing of 6 hours 02 minutes and 36 seconds.
French riders filled the top ten finish except for Germany’s Sabrina Arnold riding Bolt De Venelles who finished in seventh place. Bolt De Venelles is owned and trained by Jean-Philippe Frances.
“All riders were of a high quality but I held a steady pace. With my horse still in great shape after three loops, I decided to go for it and my horse responded very well. It was a great finish and I am glad we were able to win,” Desprez said, praising his horse.
Riders from Britain, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, China, Finland, Hong Kong, Slovakia and the UAE took part in the in the magnificent Fontainebleau forest and vicinity.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Cup was another part of the two-day HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Endurance in Capitals Challenge held in the forested and organized by Grand Parquet Endurance.
Dr. Abdullah Al Raisi, Director General of the National Archives, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor 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) and General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Dr. Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Director of Marketing and Communication Department at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, ADEC Director General and Mussalam Al Amri, Director of Al Jazira Stables gave away the awards.
Ms Sawaya said, “Abu Dhabi, Madrid, Brussels and Paris Fontainebleau are the venues of the 2017 Endurance in Capitals Challenge organised under the banner of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival.”
Dr. Abdulla Al Raisi said: “The Festival is not only a sports activity, but involves tourism and cultural promotion, and promotes the message of peace and love that the UAE has promoted.”