120-km Al Wathba Challenge Endurance ride Al Kitbi strikes for M7 Stables

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Al Kitbi, riding the 12-year-old bay stallion finished hand-in-hand with MRM Stables’ Al Faresi on the 9-year-old bay gelding Tiswan Fageole with just a second being the difference between them after the 120-km ride.

The M7 Stables’ rider completed the 120-km ride held in four stages of 40kms, 35kms, 25kms and 20kms in a ride time of four hours 25 minutes and 16 seconds.

Another M7 Stables rider Saeed Hamoud Saeed Al Khayari on Dhurgaam finished third while Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahoori on EO Raghd took fourth place for Al Wathba Stables and Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi on Gheerulla Leia was 5th for MRM Stables.

Earlier in the morning 140 riders representing the UAE and 15 other countries got off to a mass start in the ride which was attended by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and many VIPs and guests of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival.

Speaking to the media, HH Sheikh Mohammed said, “Today’s race was fast, and we did not know the extent of the readiness of horses trained by the various stables and also about their fitness levels.”

“It is our duty to welcome all new stables and to support their riders and trainers.”

Commenting on the success of the new endurance stables, HH Sheikh Mohammed said, “It is too early to judge the stables after just one race. We need to see how they perform over three to four races. We are still experimenting and we are comfortable with the exercise.”

“Though we have the experience we are always looking to better the techniques of training and preparing a horse for competition. Training always provides good results be it in any field.”

Regarding the big races of the season like the National Day Cup, he said the horses were ready and he wished all trainers and riders the best for the season ahead.

Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), representatives of sponsors and guests gave away the trophies and keys to cars to the winners.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

Results (top 5) of the 120km Al Wathba Challenge Endurance Ride:
1. Salem Hamad Saeed Malhoof Al Kitbi (Burkaan) 04:25:15;
2. Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi(Tiswan Fageole) 04:25:16;
3. Saeed Hamoud Saeed Al Khayari(Dhurgaam) 04:26:26;
4. Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahoori(EO Raghd) 04:35:41;
5. Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi(Gheerulla Leia) 04:36:18.