July 27, 2013, Tarbes, France ~
New Champion in the Family
He made his father proud. The 2013 World Champion of the 92 horse field for the seventh running of the World Endurance Championship for Junior & Young riders was 14-year old, Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, who won the Gold Medal on Niac Armor in the ride time of 06:34. Young Khalifa had the best of coaches, his father, rider and horse trainer, Ali Khlafan Al Jahouri, reigning European Open Endurance Champion.
Especially of note for the win by this mare was that she is by the stallion, Fadasir, whose sire, Persik is an endurance legend, and especially well- known in this area of France. The twelve-year-old mare was bred by Olivier Yvon at Haras Les Chevaux d’Armor.
The senior Al Jahouri spoke to the press after the ride. “I am very happy to bring this horse back to France. This mare is very tough and I liked her from the first and we are lucky to have her. We try hard to keep her in good condition but it is very difficult in the desert as it is so hot…but finally it does seem we did a good job.”
The smile on the young Al Jahouri’s face after his win was all one needed to see, but his proud father could not help but add: “He’s always doing the best thing. Even when he is tired, he doesn’t say he’s tired, he tries and he is very strong. He lost about 5 minutes in the beginning of the race, but he caught the group and won by picking up the speed later.”
The Netherland’s Marijke Visser secured Silver on Eomer, coming from number 12 in the first loop, while Australia’s Erin Krahnen on Emily Jones TE captured Bronze. Uruguay’s Oriana Ricca rode Talita Kumi 50 to fourth, while one of two USA riders to finish, Kelsey Russell, rode Valery Kanavy’s My Wild Irish Gold into fifth. Best Condition and Team Awards will be held on Sunday, July 28, at the Endurance Village at Ibos.
Complete Finish List Available here: http://www.endurance-timing.net/c101.php
The entire event was broadcast live on Abu Dhabi TV.
The weather forecast for the day, 29-33C (80-90F) and high humidity challenged race organizers to move the start up to 6:30 am to take advantage of the early cooler cloud cover. The high heat might have been one factor that netted 50 completions out of 92 starters.
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 Authorities ( IFAHR) Ladies Racing thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support of Arabian racing and endurance. “We appreciate this a world-wide endeavor to promote the Arabian horse and involves so many people on so many levels.”
Ms. Sawaya also announced that the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will now be the major sponsor of the September 26-29, Garda Endurance Cup & Italian Championships, the FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses at Valeggio Sul Mincio, Italy.
Ms. Sawaya also announced further news will be forthcoming regarding the Fifth Year Anniversary of the World Arabian Racing Conference 2014, to be held in London.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse 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. Sponsors include the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Invest AD Arabtec Holding PJSC, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, 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, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Hotel and SPA and Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah.