Local Sports

National Day Cup endurance attracts dream line-up

Hisham Al Gizouli
Filed on December 7, 2012

Around 300 riders have been entered to bid for a dream line-up in the FEI 120km ** National Day Cup which marks the celebrations of the 41st anniversary of the National Day at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the big event will be preceded by the running of the Al Wathba Cup for private owners only which will be held at the same venue on Friday.

Speaking to newsmen at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel, the official hotel of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Globan Arabian Horse Racing Festival, Adnan Sultan, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Globan Arabian Horse Racing Festival and head of IFAHR Ladies Racing briefed the media of the twin races and associated events.

Adnan Sultan, Al Nuaimi and Lara Sawaya flanked by the sponsors. — Supplied photo

The Press conference was also attended by Mubarak Rashed Al Nuaimi, international promotion manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Talal Al Hashmi of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Stephen Bowey of Invest AD, Ahyam Ali Hamad, sales and marketing manager ofAreej Al Ameerat.

“We have received entries from around 300 riders for Saturday’s prestigious National Day Cup endurance ride to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba,” Al Nuaimi said.

The National Day Cup, which, is a CEI two-star event and will be run over120 kilometres. The distance will be divided into five stages of 33km, 27km, 24km, 20km and 16km.

“Some of top UAE and international riders are expected to take part,” Al Nuaimi added, but declined to name any of them.

“With are celebrating the 41st anniversary of the National Day and on this occasion, we are delighted to provide plenty of good news for the contenders who will be lucky enough to take part in the ride.

“These will include a total purse of Dhs500,000 in prize-money plus brand new car which will also be on offer to be driven home by the winner,” he confirmed.

“We are not quite sure of the exact number of the riders who will start the race, but the preliminary figures suggest that over 300 hundred may hit in the heart of the desert under the early rays of the sun on Saturday.

In the Al Wathba Cup for private owners which is a CEN 100 km ride, participants are required to cover the distance in four stages of 33 km, 27km, 24km and 16km.

A total purse of Dhs500,000 plus a brand new car is up for the grabs in the ride. And so far 70 participants have been confirmed to make the line up for the race.

Sawaya said: “Preparations are well in place for the National Day Cup race which is considered the most prestigious and valuable event of the endurance racing season in a addition to the Wathba Stud Challenge Cup for private UAE owners only.

“A special hospitality tent has been reserved for the visitors and guests in the village. Two lucky winners will walk away with two inclusive invitations to attend one of the festival’s races courtesy of Emirates Airline. This is over and above many other surprises to be announced later.”

Meanwhile, regarding the arrangements for the World Arabian Horse Conference 2013, Sawaya said: “The details will be announced at 12noon on 12.12.12 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris and 360 representatives will be covering the announcement.

“Arrangements are also on top gear for the Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darely Awards. The first leg of the Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Championship (IFAHR) will kick off at Al Fulaij Racecourse in Oman on January 17, 2013 as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival. The festival will also take part in the one of the biggest Equine Fair in the Sultanate.”

However, Sawaya confirmed that the Polish Parliament has invited Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival to address the MPs on its session scheduled on December 10 on its marketing and promotional plans before heading for France.

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