Some exciting contests are on the cards as the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival stages two endurance rides starting from Friday, February 6 at theEmirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.
The first ride on Friday, February 6, is the CEN 120-km Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge while the second on Saturday, Saturday 7, is also a CEN 120-km ride for the Emirates Championship (Open) event.
Addressing a press conference at the HH Sheikh Mansoor Racing Festival Suite 321, Eastern Mangroves Jannah, Adnan Sultan Al Nuami, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club said, “The CEN 120-km Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge is an Open ride but only riders from GCC countries will be considered for the prizes.”
“The three top riders from Gulf countries will be rewarded with a 4WD vehicle each while the fourth and fifth finishing GCC rider will get DH 100,000 and Dh 90,000 respectively. Another Dh 40,000 will be distributed for those GCC riders finishing 6th to 10th while all the others who complete the ride will get a share of DH 30,000,” Al Nuaimi clarified.
“Saturday’s Emirates Championship CEN 120km (Open) event will see the top six riders driving with a 4WD vehicle each,” he said.
Salem Al Subosi, Racing Manager of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, said, “The focus in the Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge is on riders from the GCC countries. It will give them more opportunity when they compete against themselves and it will be an encouragement for the GCC riders.”
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) also addressed the press conference.
“We thank HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance for his constant support to endurance riding and other equestrian sport. We also thank HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for his support,” she said.
“From the Festival’s front we will be arranging a press conference in St. Moritz on February 21 at the Kempenski Hotel to announce details of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship races to be held on the White Turf, the frozen St Moritz lake,” she said.
“At the same press conference we will be announcing the 7-member UAE ladies team for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Endurance ride to be held in Italy. Aisha Al Romaithi, Afra Al Suwaidi, Aya Abdullah and Alia Al Khafaja are already part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival endurance team and three more names will be added to complete the seven-member squad for each individual race,” Ms Sawaya said.
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, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.