Portugal set for National Endurance show
There will also be a venue for shows of regional products, handicraft, and performances of falconry and horse animation.
Action from the previous European endurance race. — Supplied photo
All arrangements are well in place for the kickoff of the National Equestrian Endurance Championships with riders from all over the world vying for honours in the seniors and juniors categories at the border riding Centre in Fronteira, Portugal over this weekend.
The current edition of the two-day event is organised under the patronage of Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which integrates the two major equine sports, flat and endurance races, under the same umbrella.
Particular reference is made to the race over 120 km, scheduled on Sunday, which is sponsored by Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and involves four European countries (Portugal, France, Italy and Slovakia).
In addition to the strong presence of the equine sport in the border riding Centre, there will also be a venue for shows of regional products, handicraft, and performances of falconry and horse animation.
Ian Williams from the FEI commented: “With an exciting combination of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival Endurance Cup and the Portuguese National Championships, this weekend looks to be a great event in Fronteira, Portugal. With the recent initiatives taken by Shaikh Mansour to put the horse welfare and clean sport at the very top of the agenda, we are confident that the competitions will provide a spectacle of great horsemanship and fair play.”
Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and chairman of the Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authority (IFAHR) said: “Under the directives of Shaikh Mansoor, the curtain raiser of the festival’s endurance European season will start on Saturday and Sunday at this beautiful venue in Fronteira with the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival Endurance Cup besides the other main event, the Portuguese National Championship and extends to the other parts of the old continent. “Seven UAE girls will display their talents and skills in what is presumably going to be a grueling race in Portugal ahead of the Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance CEIO Cup in Verona Italy on July 25th, where the leading world’s women riders will be showing up. The girls are Aya Abdel Redha, Afra Al Souweidi, Ayesha Al Romaithy, Alia Al Khafaji, Shathra Al Hajjaj, Reem Shaaban and Mayssa Al Braiki.
“The other races on the festival’s agenda include the 120km** Open Endurance Cup in Verona Italy, the Compiegne France Festival, the European Championship for young Riders Verona, Italy, the Shaikh Mansour Festival Endurance Cup for Arabian Horses Ridden Endurance 100km* in London, the World Championship Horses in Slovakia 2014.”
Sawaya once again thanked Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, for her great backing and encouragement for the women of the UAE and the world at large. “It’s this great stand of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak behind the woman in any part of the world that made all the difference. Today we have seven UAE girls and tomorrow the number will be doubled. It’s a progressive move which is built on solid pillars thanks to the foresightedness vision of Shaikh Mansoor and Shaikha Fatima,” she concluded.
The Shaikh Mansour 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.
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