Denmark's Neland pips UAE's Alyazia to gold
Rides were part of the three-day Brussels Equestrian Endurance Masters which was supported by the Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival
brussels - Denmark's Merethe Neland won the individual gold and France emerged team champions in the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Nations Ladies Cup, a CEIO two-star 120-km ride, while Sebastien Valerio of France won the 120-km Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup International CEI two star ride in Brussels on Friday.
The two rides were part of the three-day Brussels Equestrian Endurance Masters (Beem) which was supported by the Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
In fact it was heartbreak for the UAE lady rider Alyazia Al Romaithi in the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Nations Ladies Cup and for the UAE rider Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi in the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup as both of them led going into the final stage but could only end up in second places.
The ladies ride was one of the most hot-contested events and when the final three crossed the finish line after negotiating the 120-km distance, just two seconds separated the top three.
Denmark's Merethe Neland on 11-year-old Paragon managed to pip the UAE's Alyazia Al Romaithi on 10-year-old Holoutaria and in close third was Virginia Atger of France on Quersane Des Pins.
It was a superb end to a highly competitive ladies ride at the Bois de la Cambre, an urban public park situated on the edge of the Sonian Forests in the Belgian capital of Brussels.
After three stages of 39.5kms, 32.7kms, 30.3kms in the 120-km ride, the final stage of 23.4 kms left, the UAE's Alyazia Al Romaithi on Holoutaria was five seconds ahead of the Danish rider while a second behind in third was Atger of France. With leads changing hands and the three riders in a very competitive mode, they finished almost together but one second separated Neland from the UAE's top rider Alyazia and Atger finished third for the Bronze.
Merethe Neland and Paragon completed the 120-km distance in a time of 6 hours 28 minutes and 06 seconds, with the Alyazia and Atger finishing one second behind respectively.
In the team championship among ladies, France took the Gold while hosts Belgium helped themselves to Silver and they were the only two teams that had three riders from their team completing the ride.
In the 120-km Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup International CEI two-star ride, which was run along with the Sheikha Fatima ladies ride, three UAE riders were in the top four going into the final stage with Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi on Ffaramir ahead of Sebastien Valerio of France riding Gindastik. Butti and Ffaramir had led every stage until the final one and that seemed to take its toll. The Frenchman and his horse Gindastik stayed steady and won the 120-km ride in 6 hrs 33 mins and 04 seconds while Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi on Ffaramir completely slowed down keeping the welfare of the horse in mind and completed over 45 minutes behind the winner. Ahmed Ali Al Marzouki on Uperkut Charbonnier finished third for the UAE.
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