Germany’s Arnold rides Tsagan Nour to win Festival-supported FEI championship
24 September 2016, Montauban, France ~ Germany’s Sabrina Arnold steered 7-year-old Tsagan Nour to a superb win in the 122-km FEI World Championship for Young Horses organized by Endurance Equestrian Negrepellise in the historic Saint-Etienne-de-Tulmont region in Montauban, Toulouse, France, on Friday, 23 September 2016.
In fact Arnold led a 1-2-3 finish by women riders in Friday’s FEI championship supported by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and staged under the umbrella of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival.
As many as 93 riders from 12 countries, including eight from the UAE, participated in the 122-km CH-M-YH-E ride which featured horses under the age of seven. The four-phased ride was run over a distance of 35 km, 30 km, 35 km and 22 km respectively.
Arnold and Tsagan Nour, owned by Jean Philippe Frances, completed the 122-km ride in a time of 5 hours 59 minutes 04 seconds. Spanish riders Emma Rosell Segura astride Danco and Laia Soria Pinol on Nervi Del Rieral finished second and third respectively.
It was a fine exhibition of riding by Arnold, who was 10th at the end of the first loop of 35kms and the German then steadily moved up to third place after the second stage of 30kms. Her horse Tsagan Nour was in fine form and the pair led the third stage of 35kms and then extended their winning margin by over six minutes to dominate the final stage of 22kms.
The Spanish rider Emma clocked 06:06:58 seconds while her fellow countrywoman Pinol finished in a timing of 06:07:00 seconds.
The German’s win ended the two-year domination by UAE in this FEI World Championship for Young Horses, as the Emirati Knights had won the 2014 and 2015 editions.
Carrying her ten-month-old son on her shoulder, Arnold was all smiles after her triumph. She said her strong contender was fifth-placed Qatari Rider Mohammed Khalifa Al Suwaidi who was placed second in the penultimate loop.
“I kept looking for this rider and once he was out of sight, I relaxed a bit in the last two kilometers and didn’t push the horse too much,” said Arnold adding that the last loop was a test of real endurance as the terrain was very challenging.
HE Noura Al Suweidi, Director of the General Women’s Union, in a message hailed the success of the event and the top three lady riders. “This goes in line with the thinking of, 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, who wants to see the success of women at all levels globally,” she stated.
Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Manager, Communications, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, observed that all first three places being won by the ladies was very interesting. “We at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council participate in various events in many countries and we always see such achievements most of the time. We have a lot to learn from this though lady riders have always done well in endurance sport in the past.”
“I sincerely hope our UAE team will repeat the same success in HH Sheikha Fatima Mubarak Bint Endurance ride on September 25 in the same venue”.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The FEI ride for horses under the age of seven attracted a huge number of participants. Ever since this ride started two years ago, attendance is improving which only shows the popularity of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival. The venue was beautiful and the arrangements were excellent and these are the factors that have made the HH Mansoor Festival spread its wings to 86 countries.”
Ms Sawaya termed the first three positions won by ladies as “women empowerment” while she thanked HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak.”HH Sheikha Fatima is an inspiration to women in all sport in general and horse racing in particular and her vision has had far-reaching implications,” she said.
Festival Races continue on Sunday
On Sunday, 25 September, the Festival supports two more rides here: the CEI 2-star HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup and CEIO 2-star HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup. Both will be run over a distance of 122 kms.
In the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup, over 40 lady riders from the UAE along with eight other nations will start in the event which will work off competitions in the Individual as well as team events. Nine nations will take part in the team championship.
“This is the third year that the Festival is supporting these rides in Europe and we are very satisfied with the success. The prize money for Ladies CEIO Cup winners is Euros 5000; second-placed team is Euros 3000 and the third-placed team is Euros 2000, apart from individual trophies and team trophies,” Ms Sawaya stated. She also added the winners of this ride will be invited to participate in the HH Sheikha Fatima Endurance Cup FEI ride in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with the same horses on November 26, 2016.
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, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.
~ end report by Festival