190 riders take part in FEI 160-km CEI 3* ride
13 February 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Riding 12-year-old gelding Anglo/Arabian Shaddad, Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum edged out Indian rider Madhu Singh on Mustafa to win the prestigious 160-km HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday, 13 February.
In an acknowledged difficult ride that attracted 190 riders and horses from all over the world, Sheikh Rashid and Madhu Singh wore down the opposition to end in a two-way battle for supremacy. It was the UAE rider who emerged victorious to win with a little over a minute to spare.
The ride across the desert was followed in six loops of 40kms, 33kms, 24kms, 23kms, 20kms and 20kms which centered around the Endurance Village at Al Wathba. Notables attended including HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, along with many other VIP guests.
The Al Jazeera Stable 2 rider Madhu Singh and the 10-year-old Mustafa had earlier in the season won the 120-km Al Dhafrah Endurance Ride, and they took charge immediately after the second loop and led for the next two stages. Sheikh Rashid moved up to join the race and by the end of the fourth stage was in second place.
The two then battled all the way to the wire but it was Sheikh Rashid who took the lead in the penultimate stage and held on to complete the final 20km and win in a time of 6 hours four minutes and 54 seconds. The MRM Stable star‘s horse is trained by Mohammed Ali Al Subose.
“It was the toughest challenge I have ever faced particularly in the final stage. My horse loves closely-contested races and I was keen not to consume all his energy in the early stages. HH Sheikh Mohammed and HH Sheikh Hamdan were behind the success and without them nothing would have been achieved,” Sheikh Rashid said after winning the keys to a brand new Mercedes-Benz 4WD while Madhu Singh was given the keys to a Range Rover Sport 4WD.
Two US riders were going well until end of loop 5 when Emilynn Dibassie’s horse, Triumph’s Duke, was judged off in gait. McCamey Kimbler finished the ride on Faheem Star O Jaaz near 11pm with an average speed of 14.603kph.
Young riders were invited to compete from France, Belgium, Finland, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, USA, Slovakia, Spain, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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) said, “The ride was a great success and full credit goes to the supervision 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.”