Abu Dhabi Endurance Festival begins

ABU DHABI — Three endurance rides will be held as part of the inaugural two-day Abu Dhabi Endurance Festival starting from Thursday at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi with some of the top riders participating.

Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, director general of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (ADEC) told a Press conference at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel on Tuesday evening, “This is the first time such a festival of rides is being held in Abu Dhabi. We start off with a 140-km Three-star Open endurance ride on Thursday which will be the feature event.”

“On Friday, March 29 we will be staging two rides, one a 120-km national ride for private owners and the second a national ride for ladies over a distance of 100 kms,” he said.

“Around 140 riders are expected to be starting in Thursday’s 140 km-ride which will be held in five stages of 35 kms, 34 kms, 31 kms, 24 kms and 16 kms,” said Al Nuaimi.

In the ladies ride on Friday the participants are required to cover the 100 kms divided into four stages of 33 kms , 27 kms, 24 kms and 16 kms,” he said.

The rides are being held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of Ladies Racing in IFAHR, who also addressed the press conference said the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival has been awarded The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan award for Best Sports Achievement.

“This is a great honour to the Festival which is being held under directives and instruction from Shaikh Mansour and we are very proud by this endorsement,” she said.

“We are encouraged and inspired to achieve more through the Festival for Purebred Arabians in the future,” she added.

“The Shaikh Mansour Festival will be participating in a series of exhibitions and shows to be held both in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi and we will let people get acquainted both our activities as well as the Purebred Arabian horse,” she added.

In a related development, Lara said that two more lady jockeys are being trained by Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri and one of them will be seen in action soon. “That brings to three the number of UAE lady jockeys,” she said.

“We will also be bringing out the second edition of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival Year Book during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in April,” Sawaya noted.

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