Italian Endurance Festival inaugurated in style
UAE lady riders confident of success in HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak ride
The UAE ladies team of riders, defending champions in the individual and team competitions of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival-sponsored HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance CEIO ride, were confident of a good show in the 100-km event which will be held here in Verona, Italy on Sunday, September 27.
Afra Al Suwaidi, the individual gold medal winner and also member of the Team championship in last year’s ride said, “We are confident. We have had a feel of the terrain here and though it is a bit hot we are looking forward to a good ride tomorrow.”
Shathra Al Hajaj, one of the more experienced riders who could not complete last year said, “I have a young horse and the gravel terrain will be a challenging one. But I will be looking to ensure we ride according to team tactics and will be happy to finish and help the team’s cause.”
Apart from the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance CEIO ride, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival Cup will also be held on Sunday.
Earlier on Friday evening the riders taking part in the FEI World Championship for Young Horses and the officials took part in a parade which was followed by a horse parade and fireworks at the historic Segurta Park at the Valeggio Sul Mincio in Verona.
The show-stopper was the great stallion Akbar – a champion Purebred Arabian race horse and a highly-successful sire (Sire of Mizzna, Nieshan etc) - and he did a proud final bow before being retired for good.
Organizing Committee chief James Coppini welcomed the gathering which included HE Saqr Nasser Ahmed Al Raisi -the UAE Ambassador to Italy, Aref Alawani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dr. Abdulla Elreyes, Director-General of the UAE National Archives, Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Sultan Zakaria Aouda National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC , 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.
Ms Lara Sawaya urged the riders to take more care of the welfare of the horses
Ms Sawaya also announced that the top five winners of the World Championship for. Young Horses and the members of the top three teams in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance CEIO ride along with the Jury and vet teams will be invited to the November 3-9 ‘One World, 6 Continents’ finale of the Festival in Abu Dhabi.
“We will also invite the lady riders of the top three teams to take part in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ride on November 28 in Abu Dhabi,” she said.
Dr. Abdulla Elreyes and Sultan Aouda highlighted the role played by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in bring such events all around the world.
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 in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 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, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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 Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, 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, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival / Satya Narayan
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf