Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi prevented a clean sweep by home riders in the 160-kilometre endurance in Compiegne, France, which was supported by the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
French rider Julien Goachet on Quran El Ulm finished first, with Al Harbi on Reef Beethoven in second place and another French rider Laurent Mosti on Reve De Sauveterre in third.
Goachet finished in 7 hours 42 minutes and 36 seconds at an average speed of 20.57 kmph.
“My horse looked in great shape as the trainer had done a good job and I was confident right from the start,” said the winner.
Lara Sawaya, director of the festival and head of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Ladies Racing said: “It was a successful and challenging event and the competition was too tough. The Shaikh Mansour Festival is now covering most of the equine sports and this is the international start to our support to endurance sport.
“We will on July 27 be supporting the 120km 2013 FEI World Endurance Championship for juniors and young riders, which will take place in Tarbes, also in France.”
Sawaya, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Eisa Al Adhab of Dubai Equestrian Club helped distribute the prizes.
“This is a great start to the endurance sport and I think this was the right place and right time to stage this 160-km event here in Compiegne,” said Al Nuaimi.
Al Adhab said the challenging nature of the terrain was the reason why the timing registered was slow when compared to other international events.
The Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will be staging their Wathba Stud Farm Cup race in Warsaw, Poland on Monday. Some of the top horses from around the small stables in the region will be taking part in the race.
The Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society.