It was a 1-2 for the F3 Endurance Stables in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival 120-km CEN endurance ride held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Friday, February 6, 2015.
Ghanim Saed Salim Aliwaisi on Castlebar Gigolo and Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri on Rubis Du Chatel held hands as they crossed the line almost together though Ghanim was just a second ahead of his colleague after the 120-km contest.
Sheikh Hasher bin Mohammed Thani Al Maktoum on Ron’s Roy and Saeed Mohammed Ibrahim Al Baloushi on EO Binan finished third and fourth and all top four riders were awarded a 4WD vehicle each for their efforts.
Earlier in the morning 159 riders took part in the 4-stage ride which focussed on riders from GCC countries and was sponsored by Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum. The ride was in four stages of 40kms, 40kms, 20kms and 20kms.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and other VIPs attended the ride.
Both F3 riders Ghanim Saed and Abdulla Ghanem were always in the leading pack of riders and with the final 20 kms left the winner was placed second behind his colleague.
But Ghanim Saed Salim Aliwaisi’s 8-year-old grey gelding Castlebar Gigolo found that extra bit and finished the 120-km ride in 4 hours 18 minutes and 30 seconds, just one second ahead of Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri on 10-year-old chestnut Anglo-Arab gelding Rubis Du Chatel.
Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum, Adnan Sultan Al Nuami, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and 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) and Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) were among those who gave away the prizes to the winners.
The CEN120-km ride for the Emirates Championship (Open) event will be held on Saturday with riders getting off to a mass start at 7.00 am and six 4WD vehicles are up for grabs.
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.