Uruguayan rider Iriarte wins the Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor Endurance Cup in great style

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Abu Dhabi – Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National security Advisor, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor and Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, have attended the Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup For Private Owners Only, CEN 100km Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba here on Saturday.

Uruguayan contender Jonatan Rivera Iriarte, on board Anglo Arab 12-year-old mare Al Salem, battled back gamely to land the title for the Al Ain Endurance Stables, as Saeed Mohammed Jaber was second and behind them came Humaid Obaid Karam Al Baloushi in third place. The winner covered the distance in 3hours, 42 minutes and 27 seconds at an average speed of 27.561km/hour.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikha Fatma bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan accompanied by Adnan Sultan, director of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Saif Al Awani, owner of Al Awani Group of Companies and Salah Al Marzouqi, representing Abu Dhabi Sports Council, presented the prizes and trophies to the winners.

The winner walked away with a Golden Cup plus a car and Rolex watch, the first runner up claimed Silver Cup and the third runner up was awarded Bronze Cup.

Sheikha Fatma bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan crowned Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan with the Jiu Jitsu Gold Medal.

The Emirates International Endurance Village wore a festive look with hundreds of children making the most of the ‘Mohammed Wathba Land’.

A number of prizes were provided by the festival in collaboration with the sponsors including full training suits for 20 children who took part in the Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Jiu Jitsu Championship three categories which will be staged on annual basis.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikha Fatma bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan crowned the winners.

Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The staging of the Sheikha Fatma bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ladies Endurance Cup and Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup For Private Owners Only comes in line with the objectives of the festival and underlines the keenness of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan to encourage local breeders and owners. And considering the great success of the two events coupled with the Jiu Jitsu Championship, we had a different day in which a big smile was drawn on the faces of the children.”

The race started early in the morning and 94 riders hit in the heart of the desert to battle it out to the wire in the Dh500.000 mouth watering prize-money. The Ride was run in four stages of 33kms, 27kms, 24kms and 16 kms. The riders who have completed the race shared the Dh 500,000 on offer.

The event was organised by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

Ahmed Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi, aboard his Anglo Arab 11-year-old gelding Khayam du Roy, set the early pace to cover the first loop in 1hour, 25 minutes and 59 seconds at average speed of 27.912km/ hour which was believed to be fast thanks to the ideal weather conditions. Uruguayan contender Jonatan Rivera Iriarte rode Anglo Arab 12-year-old mare Al Salem, was two seconds off the pace in second place as Ali Sultan Abdulla Al Marzooqi on board 11-year-old Arab Stallion RSS Safir was right on the heels of the leading pair.

However, Al Faresi began to lose grounds and relegated to the 14th position by the end of the second loop and Saeed Mohammed Al Jaber, riding 13-year-old Anglo Arab gelding Mariba Moontrip emerged the new leader. But the Uruguayan rider Jonatan Iriarte maintained his second place. Atiq Hassan bin Ali took his nine-year-old Arabian mare Baraka bint Arete to settle third.

Meanwhile, Al Jaber managed to maintain his narrow advantage over the new runner up Humaid Obaid Karam Al Baloushi who has successfully reduced the deficit to less than two minutes astride eight-year-old Arabian gelding Jager FPA as the riders began to prepare for the final and decisive stage of the grueling race. At this stage, Jonatan Iriarte was relegated to the third place for the first time, though he was only 27 seconds behind the pace maker.

The race is held as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which 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), 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.