Sport | Horse Racing

Hamdan heads UAE challenge in King’s Cup ride

Strong team bids for honours in Bahrain’s most prestigious endurance event

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 16:17 February 21, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation
  • Shaikh Hamdan will be one of the favourites to win the His Majesty the King’s Cup Endurance Ride Championship over 120 kilometres on Saturday.

Dubai: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, will lead a strong team of riders from the UAE in His Majesty the King’s Cup Endurance Ride Championship in Bahrain on Saturday.

Shaikh Hamdan heads into the prestigious CEI 2* 120km event for senior riders as one of the top contestants having triumphed in the CISM Military World Championship in December last year.

He will be riding alongside compatriots Abdulla Al Merri, Khalifa Al Merri and Ali Al Merri, in addition to other riders representing different stables in the UAE.

Among them are Mohammad Al Sabosi, Saeed Al Khayari, Eisa Al Khayari, Rashid Al Mazroui, Saeed Al Mazroui, Saeed Al Muhairi, Ahmad Al Saboosi, Salem Al Khatbi and Saif Al Mazroui, all from Al Asifa Stable.

Also representing the UAE on Saturday will be elite riders from Fazza Stable, Imar Stable and Ajman Stable.

Defending champion Yaqoub Al Hammadi from Bahrain will be competing again this year. Last year Bahraini, riders swept the top six places in the ride.

The event is organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) and will take place at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

Bahrain’s Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa welcomed the participants from the UAE and stressed the significance of the ride in Bahrain.

Shaikh Nasser said he believes the ride will be highly-competitive especially with several riders from the UAE making a strong presence this year. He also noted that more stables from Bahrain were competing in the ride for the first time.

He said the ride promised to achieve its desired objectives, the most important of which is to bring high-class riders together.

The prestigious ride will feature five stages in total, starting with 30km-long first and second stages, while each of the remaining three stages will be over 20km.

An 80km qualifying ride for juniors will be staged simultaneously. It will be divided into three stages — 30km each for the first and second stages and a final 20km stage.

The maximum allowed weight for riders is 75kg for the senior event and 70kg for the juniors.

Gulf News
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