Khaleej Times Online : Sara takes honours

UAE lady rider Sara Al Jaber, astride Highland View Eolly, did everything right to land the 100km Shaikha Fatima bin Mubarak Ladies Endurance Race at the Emirates International Endurance Village at Al Wathba on Thursday.

The winner covered the distance in 3 hours, 31 minutes and 30 seconds, two minutes clear of Moroccan runner-up Maha Khaled and behind them finished Egyptian contender Nora Abdulla.

The race was attended by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

The jubilant winner commented in a post-race chat: “I’m truly delighted to win this grueling challenge. The competition was very tough and the pace was fast. I have faced some difficulties in the third stage due to the tough terrain and extended distance. My top priority was to look after the welfare of my horse and keep a steady pace althrough and I have successfully implemented the tactics of my boss. Fortunately, I was able to catch front runner Maha Khaled in the concluding stage and would like to dedicate this achievement to Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, Chairperson of the UAE Women’s Federation and Chairperson of the Arab Women’s Organisation for encouraging us to show our talent in sports as general and equestrian in particular.”

The race attracted 74 riders representing nine countries competed for the mouth watering Dh800,000 prizemoney.

UAE led the charge amongst the nine Arab nations, followed by Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon and KSA.

The race was held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, organsied by the ADACH and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with EAHS, IFAHR, supported by Fegentri with Emirates Airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Alasabeh Al Sihriya, La Sirene Beauty, Al Awani Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE General Women’s Union, the Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhai International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and ADEC.

The winners were crowned by Nora Al Suwaidi, Director of the UAE General Women’s Union who said:

“The race hit the highest levels of success thanks to the support of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and her keenness to back the UAE women’s sports and to encourage Emarati ladies to play their role as effective elements in our society. It’s one of the most prestigious races world wide as regards its financial prize-money and value

“Horse sport is part of our history and heritage, the sport of fathers and grandfathers, which receives the attention and backing of our wise leadership. We are pleased to host this prestigious event which coincides with the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the National Day and we are delighted to see our sisters from the Arab countries sharing the moment with us.”

Abdulla Al Qubaisi, director of communications at the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority said: “This achievement underlines once again the success of the UAE in hosting quality international events.

“The organisation of this race would have not been possible without the support of Shaikh Fatima bint Mubarak. We are proud to see Sara winning this challenge which enhances the role of the UAE sportsmen and women in showing the best of them and promote the Arabian horse as a crucial partner in our society.”