21 October 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ The UAE’s domestic endurance season for 2015-16 gets off to a gigantic start as over 130 riders have entered for the first 100-km CEN Al Wathba Endurance Ride on Thursday, 22 October. Details of the national ride, to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, were announced at a press conference held at the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Lounge, Jannah Eastern Mangroves.
- “Under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, we are extremely delighted to announce that all preparations are well in place to kick-start the endurance season,” said Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
- “So far we have received over 130 entries and the ride will get off to a mass start at 6.00 am on Thursday. It will be run in three phases of 40kms, 40kms and 20kms. There will be five 4WD cars up for grabs for the top five finishers in the event and I would like to thank our official sponsors and partners, Abu Dhabi Tourism& Culture Authority, HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, National Feed & Floor Production & Marketing and Al Masaood,” Al Nuaimi said. “We will be adopting the new rules from the FEI (the world equestrian governing body) on water points, vehicles on the ride route and persons accompanying the horse inside the Vet Gate. Water supply points have been clearly marked along the ride route while only five cars for each horse will be permitted to drive through and only two persons will be permitted to accompany the horse inside the Vet Gate during the veterinary check,” Al Nuaimi added.
- The ADEC chief also announced an increase in the prize money allocated to the public for the Abu Dhabi flat racing and changes in the distribution of the free ‘Pick Six’ forms for the public.
- “In order to facilitate smooth access for racing fans during race meetings in Abu Dhabi, an automated system at the entrance will distribute ‘Pick-Six’ forms against the respective IDs. The prize-money for the public has also been increased to Dh50.000 to accommodate the grand prize for the pick-six and double tri-cast winners,” stated Al Nuaimi.
- Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) thanked His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World for all their support and backing for the endurance discipline.
- “We will ensure that the directives of Their Highnesses to maintain the high-calibre and image of the UAE equine sport will be strictly adhered to. The Festival will host an international news conference to announce the big surprises of the upcoming Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Crown Jewel which will be held during the grand finals on 8 November at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. The conference will be held at the same venue on October 26,” she confirmed.
- Mr. Sultan Aouda representing the National Feed & Flour Production & Marketing confirmed their strong support for the UAE’s equine sport and also announced that a 30% discount by National Feed, which was given for the breeders of Arabian horses, will now be extended for all UAE horse owners within the country.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.
-Report by Satya