Abu Dhabi – Top Spanish lady rider Laia Soria Pinol won the 100-km Sheikha Fatma Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ladies Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba here on Friday.
Laia Soria Pinol, riding her eight-year-old Magic Cross Bred mare Sembra Rails, completed the 100-km ride in 3 hrs 23 minutes and 02 seconds at an average speed of 29.55 km/hour.
Friday’s CEN 100 KM Endurance 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 and the winner drove away a brand new car. The Emirates International Endurance Village wore a festive look with hundreds of children making the most of the ‘Fatma Wathba Land’.
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 with Arabtec as official partners and the sponsorship of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Emirates Airline as official carriers and Al Awani.
Alreem Omar Abdul Jalil Al Mutawa, on board 11-year-old Anglo Arab Buren Dah Orlando, showed the way in the opening loop as 88 riders started the race, with Mouza Sulaiman Eidha Alseiari followed in second place astride Bahrein Mangueira Maharshi and right on their heels was Fatma Jassem Saeed Al Marri, riding Enwick Sunset Tryst.
A little change in the order happened as the riders approached the the second Vet Gate. Al Mutawa continued to lead, but Shaikha Shamsa Humaid Al Shamsi advanced to second and Mouza Sulaiman Eidha Alseiari was relegated to third. Meanwhile, the Spanish rider Laia Soria Pinol made a smooth progress to take second just behind the early leader Al Mutawa and ahead of Shaikha Shamsa Humaid Al Shamsi as the riders completed the third loop and began to prepare for the final challenge.
HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs received the trophy which was presented by Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council to honour the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival as sponsors of the HH the President Falconry Cup during the 2013/ 2014 Season. The trophy was presented to HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan by Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Arabian Horse Racing Festival.
Meanwhile, Sawaya noted that the participation of 88 riders is another evidence of the success of the event in achieving its goals in spreading the equine sport and attracting more lady riders to practice. “This is in fact the ultimate target of the festival and the directives of HH Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, to encourage and support women sport. The strong presence of the girls students and their families to attend the entertainment program which was organized on the sidelines of the race at the Fatma Wathba Land has also added colour to the affair. Twenty iPads which were provided by the festival were also drawn,” she said.
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.