December 5, 2012, Abu Dhabi~ Almost 300 riders have entered to bid for honors at the December 8, FEI 120km CEI** National Day Cup, marking the celebrations of the 41st anniversary of the union of the seven emirates of the UAE. The Saturday National Day Cup will be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba and will be run over 120 kilometres in five stages of 33km, 27km, 24km, 20km and 16km.
On Friday, the festivities begin with the running of the Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners, a CEN 100 km ride, ridden in four stages of 33 km, 27km, 24km and 16km.
Speaking to newsmen at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel, the official hotel of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival, Adnan Sultan, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival and head of IFAHR Ladies Racing, briefed the media on both races and associated events.
The Press conference was also attended by Mubarak Rashed Al Nuaimi, international Promotion Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Talal Al Hashmi of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Stephen Bowey of Invest AD, Ahyam Ali Hamad, sales and marketing manager of Areej Al Ameerat.
“Some of the top UAE and international riders are expected to take part,” Al Nuaimi said. “We are delighted to provide plenty of good news for the contenders who will be lucky enough to take part in the ride. There will be a total purse of Dhs500,000 ($136,124.00) in prize-money to particpants, plus a new car which will be driven home by the winner,” he confirmed.
The Friday Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners will also have a total purse of Dhs500,000 for participants plus a brand new car to the winner. So far 70 riders have been confirmed to make the line up for the race.
Sawaya said, “Preparations are well in place for the National Day Cup race which is considered the most prestigious and valuable event of the endurance racing season in a addition to the Wathba Stud Challenge Cup for Private UAE owners only.
“A special hospitality tent has been reserved for the visitors and guests in the village. Two lucky winners will walk away with two inclusive invitations to attend one of the festival’s races courtesy of Emirates Airline. This is over and above many other surprises to be announced later.”