February 15, 2013, Abu Dhabi ~ Bahrain’s Sheikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa won the 100-km Sheikha Fatma Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ladies Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Friday.
Sheikha Najla, riding 12-year-old Magic Glenn Harpoon, completed the 100-km ride in 3 hrs 24 minutes and 05 seconds to score her biggest win here in the UAE after twice finishing third on the same horse.
Fatma Jassem Saeed Al Marri on Razorback Wildfire finished second while French rider Nina Lissarrague on Jordan Vale Red Cloud was third.
Organised by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, over 96 riders started in the 100-km event.
The Emirates International Endurance Village wore a festive look with hundreds of children making the most of the ‘Fatma Wathba Land’. Girls aged between 6 and 9 years went on a horse ride and most of them were experiencing it for the first time.
Today’s 100-km ride was run in four stages of 33kms, 27kms, 24kms and 16 kms. The riders who finished at the top shared the Dh 350,000 on offer.
His Highness HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs toured the events in which the children were participating and shared some moments with many of them. HH Sheikh Mansoor was accompanied by
Mr. Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism& Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and HE Noura Al Suwaidi, Director General ofthe UAE General Women’s Association along with other VIP guests also attended yesterday’s ride.
“It is great to see young children getting acquainted with equestrian sport which is part of our heritage and culture,” Mr. Al Muhairi said.
“We already have quite a few UAE lady flat race jockeys and endurance riders competing at the highest level. Such events will further boost the girls from th e UAE and the region to take part in equestrian sport,” HE Al Suwaidi said.
HH The President’s Cup
Around 150 riders are expected to get off to a mass start in the 160-km CEI Three-star HH The President’s Cup endurance ride on Saturday.
“The total prize money is Dh 1,500,000 and this will be distributed among all the riders who complete the 160-km event. In addition there will be three cars for the top three riders and a fourth car for the winning team. This is one of the UAE’s most prestigious rides,” said Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi , Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and Head of Ladies racing in IFAHR said, “All lady riders the HH the President’s Cup ride will be given an 18-carat rhodium-plated bracelet with a Green Tourmaline stone and with a picture of Sheikha Fatma Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the ride logo.
“There will also be air tickets for the top three riders to attend any one of the flat races organized by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival,” she added.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2013, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.