Shaikh Mansour Festival in Slovakia
A competitive field of 48 riders, including five hopefuls from the UAE, will compete for top honours in the 120km ride for seven-year-old horses.
Riders from the UAE will also take part in the event. — Supplied photo
Bratislava — The HH Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will cross a new frontier in its worldwide patronage of equestrian sports. It lends its support to the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses 2014 at Samorin, Slovakia, on Saturday, a Press release said. A competitive field of 48 riders, including five hopefuls from the UAE, will compete for top honours in the 120km ride for seven-year-old horses.
The UAE challenge is spearheaded by Al Ain’s Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, who led the UAE ladies endurance team to a double gold medal winning success in the Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup in Verona, Italy, in July.
Afra will partner the Hassan Rakhan Al Mansoori-owned gelding Ainhoa Tidjor, a horse which helped her qualify for the Slovakia ride. World Endurance champion trainer Ismail Mohammad has entered a four-strong field of horses with Shaikh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum, likely to partner the highly-regarded Normandy.
Mansoor Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi will team up with Tiswan Fageole while Mohammed Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi rides Caramel Do Silva. Saeed Mohammed Saeed Al Khayari completes the UAE quintet aboard the UAE-bred gelding Ostro Di Chai.
The Emirati riders will come up against strong riders representing Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden. France is well represented with a potential 11-strong field while hosts Slovakia have entered four horses.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, thanked Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, for his continued support of endurance and Purebred Arabian racing. “Shaikh Mansour through his support of events like the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses has helped the sport to reach a higher level, both in terms of participation and importance.
“Endurance, in particular, is flourishing and getting more noticed in Europe and around the world thanks to the support of the Shaikh Mansour Festival which has worked together with the local authorities in Slovakia to put on a top class competition. We wish all the competitors the best of luck on Saturday.”
Mubarak Rashed Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotion & Overseas Offices, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture, said: “By supporting both endurance and Arabian Racing Shaikh Mansour has given equestrian sport a significant boost. It is a great idea to promote Arabian racing worldwide and to encourage new owners, trainers and riders to compete against each other on a regular basis.
“The Shaikh Mansour Festival offers all enthusiasts of Arabian horses with the chance to be involved in something significant that is happening in the sport. As a result the calendar is full of exciting events in over 50 countries. This can only be good for the growth of Arabian racing around the world.”
Mubarak Rashed Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotion & Overseas Offices, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture, said he was proud to be involved with the HH Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and part of its efforts to raise the profile of Arabian racing globally.
“Saturday’s ride is a new page in the history and evolution of Purebred Arabian racing and endurance,” he said. “In a short time Shaikh Mansour has helped change the face of equestrian events around the world.”
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