His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince is likely to be starting in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival sponsored Festival Mondial d’Endurance 120-km ride in Compiegne on Sunday.
HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan attended Friday’s 160-m event which was won by UAE rider Saif Ahmed Al Mazrouie, on Nopoli Del Ma.
Sunday’s 120-km ride will also feature an exciting contest for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Cup.
The UAE will be strong represented by a team of UAE lady riders that includes Maysa Ahmed Hasan Al Braiki, Shathra Ahmed Al Hajaj, Reem Shahban Ibrahim Al Hasan, Alia Kazim Mohammad Al Kafajy, Ayesha Darwish Ahmed Al Romaithi, Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi and Aya Abdulla Redha Ishaq Ali among others.
“Mr. Hassan Rakan Al Mansouri has been kind enough provide his horses for the UAE lady riders which adds to the encouragement and support that the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival extends to lady riders,” said Ms Lara Sawaya who has now been named the Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai met the UAE lady riders who were delighted to be photographed with His Highness, the reigning World Endurance Champion.
“We are looking forward to a great event on Sunday and the UAE lady riders will gain tremendous experience when competing against some of the world’s top riders in challenging conditions here in Compiegne,” said Ms Sawaya, who is also the Chairman of Ladies Racing at the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
On Friday, Al Mazrouie on Nopoli Del Ma finished first in 7:35:33 followed by Marine Saignie of France on Qhashmyr D’hazel (7:37:47) and UAE rider Ali Ghanem Obaid, on Jq Safi Safra was third in 7:50:37 which saw over 100 riders take part.
Al Mazroui and Nopoli Del Ma had won a 120-km ride earlier in the season in Dubai and the winning rider said it was his first win in a 160-km ride.
Commenting on Friday’s win, Al Mazroui said, “HH Sheikh Mohammad and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan gave me valuable tip as the ride progressed. I dedicate this win to them.”
“The first loop was tough and there were a lot of riders in the leader’s pack. It was a close competition right through and I am happy that my horse is now qualified for the World Equestrian Games to be held in Normandy later this year,” he 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), 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.