January , 2012, Abu Dhabi, ~
The winner congratulated
11-year-old Balek El Tornada from W’rsan Stables won the Emirates Championship over 120-kms under Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Mohammad, who also tasted his first-ever win, paced the 11-year-old bay gelding to finish just ahead of lady rider Maryam Mohammad Mothanna on Mutajjeb from Seeh Al Salam Endurance Stables.
Sheikh Mohammad and Balek El Tornada were in the 36th
position midway through the 120-km event and moved into 13th
position in the third stage. Going into the final loop of 16 kms, Sheikh Mohammad and Balek El Tornada were in 6th
place and then went on to win the race.
“With over 200 riders (213 started the ride) it was very tough out there. I just adopted a safety first approach and then with the horse showing a keenness to go faster I let him do the rest,” Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, the winning rider said. “It is a great win for me coming against some of the best and most experienced riders in the world.”
The total prize money including a car was Dh 500,000 for the Emirates Championship and the 120-km ride was held in five stages of 33kms, 27kms, 24kms, 20kms and 16 kms.
A new electronic timing system was adopted for the ride which was held at the Emirates International Endurance Village.
The ride was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Presidential Affairs and Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of Ladies Racing in IFAHR, Saif Al Awani, Managing Director of Al Awani and Nafez Abbara, Projects Manager, SAS Investment distributed the trophies to the winners.
Photos by Morhaf
Top Ten Provisional Finish:
1. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan (Balek El Tornado) W’rsan Stables 4hrs 15 mins 29 secs;
2. Mariam Mohammad Mothanna (Mutajjeb) Seeh Al Salam Endurance Stables-4.15.30;
3. Sultan Ahmad Al Beloushi (Rivergum Drifter) Al Reef Stables-4:15.38;
4. Mohammad Saeed Mohammad Al Faresi (Odjani La Majorie) MRM Stables-4.15 41;
5. Munder Ahmad Al Beloushi (AT Dial Range Dana) Fazaa Endurance Team 4.21.36);
6. Marco Sardo (Rames) Al Asayl Management -4.22.26;
7. Ghanim Said Salim Al Owaisi (Castlebar Tornedo) Fazza Endurance Team- 4.23.19);
8. Mohammad Ali Rasheed Al Abbar (Onirik De Beeherel) Al Reef Endurance Stables-4.23.40;
9. Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed (Yerorlonga Magic Morning) 4.24.13-Al Reef Stables;
10. Majid Mohammad Salman Al Sabri (Castlebar Moonlight) MRM Stables- 4:24.13.