A huge contingent of around 240 endurance riders will be vying for the prestigious HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup, which will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.
That will be followed on Sunday, February 12, 2017 with an equally important set of flat races-HH The President of the UAE Cup for Purebred Arabians and Thoroughbreds at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club race course.
The races are being held under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and under the supervision of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
The HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup, one of the most prestigious rides in the world, will be run over a distance of 160km and will be run in six phases of 40 km, 33km, 24km, 23km, 20km and 20 km respectively.
Over 240 horses will be competing in the ride, with 28 horses coming from abroad. Apart from the riders from the UAE, others include those from Algeria, Bahrain, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Slovakia.
Addressing a press conference in Abu Dhabi Anantara, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, said the FEI CEI-three star ride is one of the most prestigious endurance rides in the world.
“The winner of the ride will get a Mercedes-Benz while the second-placed rider will win a Range Rover Sport 3.0 HC. The eight other riders in the top ten will all be awarded a Nissan Patrol SE T. A cash prize of Dh 100,000 will be presented to all the riders who complete the ride,” Al Nuaimi added.
The ride will have a mass start at 6.30 am.
Others who addressed the hugely attended press conference included Dr Ghanem Al Hajeri, Secretyary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Mubarak Al Nuaimi-Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Khaled Hussain, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, Najla Nasser from National Feeds and Flours, Dr. Stefano Daneri, Ahmed Al Qubaisi from Abu Dhabi Spors Council, Ahmed Saeed from Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department, Pat Buckley, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Humayun Alam from Al Masoud Automobiles, Jean – Pierre Allegret, President of the ground jury for the event, Dr. Gregory Ghyorous, President of the Vet Commission and Daniel Fenaux, Foreign Technical Delegate.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), while thanking His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, stated that Arabian horses are the most beautiful creatures in the world and gaining momentum, thanks to the support of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World. “Under their guidance the Festival has spread to many countries and growing further,” she added.
Ms Lara also announced that henceforth the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival and Emirates Equestrian Federation will be cooperating with each other in organising endurance rides all over the world.
On Sunday, February 12, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club’s turf race course will witness the highly competitive HH The President’s Cup (Group 1) run over 2200 metres while the Thoroughbreds race in the HH The President’s Cup (Listed) over 1400 metres.
“The prize money for the HH The President’s Cup (Group 1) for Purebred Arabian horses is Dh 3,000,000 (Three million) while the HH The President’s Cup (Listed) for Thoroughbreds will carry a prize fund of Dh. 380,000,” Al Nuaimi said.
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, 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.