Argentina’s Catalina Bastons, riding 10-year-old bay gelding Moreno, won the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup, a 90-km CEN ride held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The UAE’s Aya Abdulla Reda Ishaq Ali on Oued El Kebir Larzac finished third behind Spanish rider Laia Soria Pinol to salvage some pride for the UAE riders, who had swept the top ten places in last year’s ride.
Another Spanish rider Nuria Figueiras Rifa on Vitamina II and Ireland’s Amy Louis on Terminator Te finished 4th and 5th respectively and were part of the top five pack of lady riders who won a 4WD car each apart from a slice of the Dh 300,000 on offer.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor and HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs attended the 90-km race which attracted over a hundred lady riders from all over the world.
The winning Argentine praised her horse Moreno and said the Al Reef Stables and the trainer Abdullah Al Hammadi (who trained both the first and second-placed horses) had done a great job in preparing the horse for this important and prestigious ride. “I am delighted as the UAE lady riders are very strong and today’s start list was a highly competitive one. But both the weather as well as the course was in great shape and I enjoyed this win,” Catalina Bastons said.
Along with the five 4WD cars and the Dh 300,000, an amount which will be shared by all those who completed the ride, the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival also honoured the connections of Ameretto after the horse won the European Triple Crown of the Festival’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup for the third consecutive year. Owner Dr Paul Daviero and jockey Mauro Manueddu were elated as the owner received a special bonus of Euros 50,000 for the three-in-a-row win of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Triple Crown that comprised of races in Germany, Poland and Holland.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR and Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa, Saif Sultan Al Awani representative Awani companies, Abdulrahman Rumaithi and Salah Al Marzouki from Abu Dhabi Sports Council attended the prize distribution ceremonies.
“The largne number of starters, 106 in total, reflects the love and affection for the Mother of the UAE and the World 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. This event also marks the UAE National Day and we thanks HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for all their support,” 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 Arabtec Holding PJSC 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), National Archives, Al Rashid Investment, 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 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.
The results (top 5) of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup, a 90-km CEN ride:
Catalina Bastons-Argentina (Moreno) 2 hrs 58 mins 40 secs;
Laia Soria Pinol-Spain- (KY Inefe) 2:58.41
Aya Abdulla Reda Ishaq Ali-UAE-( Oued El Kebir Larzac) 2:59.17;
Nuria Figueiras Rifa-Spain- (Vitamina II)3:07:24;
Amy Louis MC Auley-Ireland-(Terminator Te) 3:07:25.