Spain dominated the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival-supported European Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2014 held in Verona, Italy on Saturday, July 12.
Gil Berenguer Carrera riding 12-year-old mare Nina Bin Menfis topped the 120-km ride with a ride time of 5 hours 49 minutes and 40 seconds to win the individual gold and also lead the Spanish team to a gold medal in the team championship.
French girl Nina Lissarrague on Ainhoa Catharissime prevented a Spanish sweep of the individual medals and came second with a timing of 5:52.09 while Spain’s Paula Muntala Sanchez riding Shagya Irisz in 5:53.40 took the individual bronze.
Both Carrera and Sanchez were also members of the Spanish team event and along with Maite Pradera Ledo on Hiaben, who completed the ride in 6:22.52 in 13th place, made it a Spanish double by winning the team championship Gold medal. Their combined time of 18.06.12 was better than the second-placed Belgium who took the Team Silver in 18:09.02. Hosts team Italy took the Bronze medal in 18:26.57. Russia was the only other country to finish as a team and their time was 24:25.39.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing at the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said, “The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s involvement with endurance rides has been a success and the European Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2014 is another chapter added to the Festival’s initiatives.” “There is more exciting action in this HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival-supported festival when the first-ever all-ladies event in the world, the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup CEI Two Star ride will be run next weekend on Saturday, July 26, The next day on July 27, three events – the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup OPEN CEI Two Star; H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup (Young and Junior riders) CEI Two star and the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup OPEN One Star ride will be staged as part of this Italia Endurance Festival,” Ms Sawaya added.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Hassan Rakan Al Mansouri, representing the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival took part in the prize distribution ceremony for Saturday’s event.
“It was a great success with riders from Belgium, Slovakia, Denmark, Spain, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland participating,” said Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi.
“The course was very challenging but the young riders showed a lot of skill and were highly competitive in the four-stage 120-km event. We are now looking forward to next week-end’s action here,” said Hassan Rakan Al Mansouri.
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), 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.