14 March 2015, Manama, Bahrain ~Bahraini rider Manal Majeedriding Godasil Tehankorla set a fierce pace in the final 20-km loop to overtake early leader Dana Ali Ahmed on WH Picos Shazam to win the 90km CEN HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup at the Sakhir Endurance Village in Manama on Saturday, 14 March.
The event was being held for the first time in Bahrain under the directives of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
Bahraini riders dominated the lead right from the onset with Dana Ali Ahmed showing the way astride WH Picos Shazam followed by compatriot Manal Majeed onboard Godasil Tehankorla while the leading pair was chased home all the way by Omani rider Zamzam Hamed Hasani and behind them came the German lady Anna-Lena in fourth, French rider Alice Marie Fabre in fifth and Qatari contender Khuloud Mohammed Abdulla Al Khori in sixth.
Dana covered the first 40km Loop in one hour, 27 minutes and four seconds to lead by 12 seconds and by the end of the second 30-km Loop, Dana had extended her lead to 22 seconds.
Manal Majeed and Godasil Tehankorla moved into top gear in the final loop to cross the finish line 12 seconds in front of Dana as the two riders approached the finish line. The horses that finished 1-2 are both trained by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The winner crossed the line in three hours, 14 minutes at an average speed of 27.83kmp hour and Manal said: “It was not easy at all for me to come from behind, but my horse picked up very nicely to close the gap on the leader before forging clear in the final stage of the race.”
Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Sheikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Noura Al Suwaidi, Adnan Sultan and Ms Lara Sawaya presented the prizes and trophies to the winners after the end of the race.
“I was confident that the brilliant girls would have given me a 1-2 finish in the race. They are the top women riders in the Kingdom and they have observed the instructions and gave my horses perfect rides,” Sheikh Nasser said.
Speaking about the speed, Sheikh Nasser said the heavy track in Bahrain is not very helpful and that’s why the speed was lower than the UAE where the tracks are faster.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies& Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities ( IFAHR), thanked the organisers for the excellent hosting of the big event pointing out that the top six finishers in the race will be invited for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup in Verona, Italy between July 24-26.
“All the UAE eight members of the Festival’s endurance team will be riding in Verona as well when things are cleared before the girls join hands with the winners of Bahrain’s event in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Endurance Championship for Young horse in Verona during the month of September,” she confirmed.
“Preparations are also on top gear for the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s 6th edition of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference which will be held in Warsaw from May 25-31, 2015,” she added.
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 The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, 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 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 and Racing Post.