Al Mehairi on Mureib storms to HH President’s Cup win

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Saeed Mohammed Khalifa Al Mehairi came up with an outstanding effort on Mureib in the final stage to win the His Highness The President of the United Arab Emirates Endurance Cup, a 160-km event organized by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival at the Emirates International Endurance Village on Saturday.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs attended the ride while HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai participated in the ride.

Al Mehairi, who won the 120-km Dubai Crown Prince Cup last year in Seih Assalam and in Saturday’s 160-km here he was in 12th place after three stages of 40kms, 40kms and 32kms. However he moved into third place behind the leading duo of Argentina’s Catalina Bastons (Mansoura) and the UAE’s Suhail Ali Rashed Ali Al Ghailani (Kalifa).

The MRM Stable star whose horse is trained by Ismail Mohammed started four minutes behind Catalina and came up with a fantastic run in the final 20-km stage to win the prestigious ride.

Al Mehairi and his 10-year-old gelding completed the 160-km ride in a time of 5 hrs 55 minutes and 40 seconds to finish 50 seconds ahead of the second-placed Suhail Ali Rashed Ali Al Ghailani (Kalifa).  Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi finished third on Castlebar Tornedo.

Though it was heartbreak for Argentina’s Catalina Bastons on Mansoura after leading each of the first four stages her 7th place finish enabled her to win her second 4WD car in 8 days. Last Saturday she had finished 6th in the 120-km Emirates Championship riding HM Guerrero to win one of the six vehicles on offer and today she won another 4WD car as the top ten riders were all awarded a car for their efforts.

“I dedicate this win to HH Sheikh Mohammed who was behind the success. He told me what to do all I did was to implement his plan and  strategy and it has worked,” Al Mehairi said.

“This is my biggest success and it’s the President’s Cup. The race was tough and the heat made it challenging. But my horse was well prepared thanks to the hard work of the trainer Ismail Mohammed,” the winner said.

The 160-km ride had attracted 158 riders from all over the world for what is considered the most prestigious ride in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and it was run in five stages of 40kms, 40kms, 32kms, 28kms and 20kms.

Bahrain’s Sheikha Hayat bint Abdul Aziz Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Shura Council Member Lulwa Alawadhi, Aref Alawani, Secretary General, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, 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 the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) gave away the trophies and other awards to the winners.

Earlier in the day the Yas horse racing channel, an Abu Dhabi-based channel only for horse racing was launched.

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 The National Archives 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 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 2015, 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.

Results (top 5) of the H.H. The President of United Arab Emirates Endurance Cup CEI 3* 160 Km Endurance Ride held on Saturday 14th February 2015:

  1. Saeed Mohammed Khalifa Al Mehairi (Mureib) 5hrs 55 mins 40 secs;
  1. Suhail Ali Rashed Ali Al Ghailani (Kalifa) 5:56.30;
  1. Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi (Castlebar Tornedo) 5:57.41;
  1. Mohammed Hasan Ahmed Al Hammadi (Condenado) 6:10.20
  1. Sheikh Hamed Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum (Quersick Niellans) 6:01.09;