UAE ladies ready for the European challenge
Six boys and seven girls carry the country’s hopes in Portugal
Fronteira – Portugal: Top UAE riders are all out to carry the country’s hopes in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup (CEI ** 120km for men and CEN120km for ladies) on the second day of the Portuguese National Endurance Championships at the border riding centre on Sunday, April 27.
Ghanim Al Hajiri, Mohammed Hamdan Al Jahouri, Saleh Al Amri, Ebrahim Al Hosani, Ali Al Ketbi and Mohammed Al Junaibi will lead the UAE charge in the men’s competition which has attracted riders from Europe, Latin America and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Aya Abdel Redha, Afra Al Souweidi , Ayesha Al Romaithy , Alia Al Khafaji , Shathra Al hajjaj , Reem Shaaban and Mayssa Al Braiki will represent the UAE women in the ladies race.
The races’ distances are divided into five phases starting with the first loop over 28.4km, the second loop 28.6km (pink), the third loop 25km (yellow), the fourth loop 20km (white) and the final loop 20km a(white again).
According to Musallam Al Amri, director general of the Al Jazira 1 & 2 Stables, the main objective of the festival from taking the UAE women to compete in Europe under the directives, support and follow up of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak is to avail them the opportunity to have more international exposure and face the c arouhallenge against the best endurance riders of the world.
“We are looking forward to see the UAE lady riders following in the footsteps of the men who were able to make their presence felt and flew the flag of their nation at the international arenas,” he said.
Speaking about the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Al Amri said: “The move comes under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs to combine the flat and endurance disciplines as a new venture to promote the Arabian horse worldwide and encourage the UAE lady jockeys to show their talent and skills as represented in the HH Sheikha Fatima bintb Mubarak World Ladies Championship.”
UAE rider Ghanim Al Hajiri pointed out that they are in Portugal to do pride for their nation and it’s a big responsibility that has been laid on their shoulders.
“We would like above all to thank HH Sheikh Manoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for supporting the equine sport as part of the festival’s strategy to promote the UAE heritage and culture and hopefully we will be able to live up to the challenge and expectations,” he said.
Ali Al Jahouri, supervisor of the ladies team added: “The UAE lady riders have established good presence at the local level and the time has come to do the same at the international level. They need the foreign exposure to become tactically and mentally ready for the big challenges and this would not be possible without gaining the international experience,” he added.
“We are grateful to HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, for all what they have been doing to support and encourage the UAE women,” he concluded.
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 Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development& amp; Investment Company (TDIC), Al Rashid Investment, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE General Women Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf