It's more than horse racing in the desert, it's a time-honored tradition to qualify good Arabian breeding stock
27 December 2014, Abu Dhabi ~ The recent endurance competition in Abu Dhabi put a few more riders and horses into the qualified category. Starting second on the final stage, Abdulla Rashid Mohammed Saeed Al Naqbi partnering 11-year-old Arabian gelding Rowallan Dee Jay won the 120-km Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival Endurance Ride For Private Owners at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday 27 December.
Trained by Ahmed Mahfouz at the Al Hayar Stables, Rowallan made a smooth progress from the 8th position and was in second place after four stages and 104 kms. In the lead at that stage was Rashid Saeed Al Kamda on Baraja. But a steady pace in the final 16-km lap saw Al Naqbi and Rowallan Dee Jay finish ahead of the pack in 4:46:15 at an average speed of 25.15km/hour.
Al Kamda and Baraja finished second about two minutes later, while Uruguayan Jonatan Rivera Iriarte on HH Ciabu was six minutes off the pace in third place.
“The race was tough despite the favourable weather conditions,” the winner said later. “The second stage was the most difficult and the speed was lowered because of the sand,” he added.
The trainer added: “We are preparing this horse for future challenges including the HH the President’s Cup. It’s great to see him doing very well in today’s contest.”
Shaikh Saeed bin Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended the event and gave away the prizes and trophies to the winners alongside Ms Lara Sawaya and Adnan Sultan, including a brand new car for the winner while the Dh1m in prize-money was distributed proportionately to the riders who completed the race.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee (IFAHR), and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR said, “Today’s ride was a grand success. This is an important event in our calendar and we thank His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his continuous support to the activities of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.”
“Thanks to his support the stables of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum have been actively participating both in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) flat racing as well as the Festival’s endurance rides.”
Regarding the upcoming inaugural general meeting of the International Federation of the Horse Racing Academies, Sawaya said: “Representatives from 17 countries will sit to draft the statutes of the new body among other issues on the agenda. “
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Rashid Investment, 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 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, National Archives and Racing Post.
The results (Top five) :
1. Abdulla Rashid Mohd Saeed Al Naqbi (Rowallan Dee Jay)Time: 04: 46:15
2. Rashed Saeed Al Kamda (Baraja ) 04:48:52;
3. Jonatan Rivera Iriarte (HH Ciabu) 04:52:27;
4. Rawal Singh Chutar Singh (Raymar Ali) 04:57:20;
5. Walter Andres Hernandez (Shagya Tunder) 04:57:43