November 16, 2013, Abu Dhabi ~
Rashid Ahmed Al Bloushi, astride Devlin Park Picasso, landed the 120km FEI Wathba Endurance Challenge for the Union Stables which have been established under the directives of HH Sheikh Manoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmook Jumaa Al Maktoum took second place honours and behind them came UAE lady rider Aya Abdulla Redha from Wathba Stables. Al Bloushi’s time for the 120kms was 4:18:13; Sh Rashid finished five minutes later, with Aya Ishaq Ali less than a minute behind the second place.
The race was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor, Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority besides the guests of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival from Europe, US and elsewhere.
The race was held under the directives of Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan with the support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Invest AD.
Meanwhile, 193 riders from both sexes representing all the UAE stables made the lineup for the grueling race under the early rays of the sun before they hit in the heart of the desert to compete in the Dh500.000 rich event plus a brand new 4WD car for the winner.
Adnan Al Nuaimi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee (IFAHR) gave away the prizes and trophies to the winners.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated the winner of the first title for the Union Stables and praised his determination and fighting spirit. He also hailed the good organization of the race which has attracted a big number of riders and noted that the new season is promising and looks to be very exciting.
Full Results:[gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/AlWathbaGate5-2013-11-16.pdf” save=”1″]
Speaking about the establishment of the Union Stables and Al Jazira 1-2 was intended to support the sport through the widening of the participation base and to increase the competition between the different stables whether in the endurance or flat races. Sheikh Mansoor also reiterated that the new stables will not conflict with the Wathba or Al Reef Stables which have been in existence for the last 20 years and have proven gave a number of successful horses in all equine sports.
Sheikh Mansoor urged the riders to abide with the rules to ensure equal chances for all participants and observe the welfare of the horses. Speaking about the media, Sheikh Mansoor said all newsmen are most welcomed to cover the endurance events provided that they have to observe the rules and regulations which regulate the races and keep away from causing any interruption for the horses with their cameras.
The winner Rashid Al Balouchi dedicated the victory to Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan as gesture of appreciation to his great support and encouragement for the sport in general and the Union Stables in particular. Trainer Yousuf Al Balouchi said he was motivated by the encouragement and backing of Sheikh Mansoor and hopefully they will gain more self confidence in their future appearances.
Lara Sawaya said: “The attendance of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan has motivated the riders who put on a strong effort to excel which in turn provided a solid ground for the strong competition among the participants.”
Sawaya then thanked Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his unlimited support for the festival and his keenness to welcome the guests at the Watba International Endurance Village which has been highly appreciated by the visitors who have come from US and Europe. “The upcoming races will see more sponsors showing their support under the umbrella of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival,” she concluded.
W J de Ruiter, Chairman of DARC, Holland and Treasurer of IFAHR, said on behalf of the festival’s guests: “It was a great event and well organized competition. I would like to thank HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the invitation and the unforgettable lovely moments and generous hospitality which is no stranger for His Highness and the people of the UAE.”
Photos by Morhaf