In an impressive display of riding skill and sportsmanship, Shaikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum earned a second victory in the prestigious Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup, triumphantly crossing the finish line with outstretched arms in the company of MRM teammate, Saeed Mohammad Al Mehairi and Ghanim Said Salim Al Owaisi of F3 Stables.
Maintaining contact and the striking distance of the best horses and riders was Shaikh Dalmook’s strategy in the ride that included a roster of 158 national and international participants.
Shaikh Dalmook said: “The strategy is to go with the good group. Not always is the leader the best horse and you must know this when you are riding within these groups.
“I was fortunate that my horse had a good heart rate and it allowed us to always be within the top leaders. I thank His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum [Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] for giving us the best horses to ride so we can be successful in this sport. This is an amazing feeling to win this the first year and now again, it is amazing as well.”
Aboard his winning horse from the 2015 Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup, Napoli Del Mar, Shaikh Dalmook placed his mount within the top 10 spots in each loop.
His placements were sixth after the first loop and eighth after the second. During the crucial third loop, he moved into third to easily take the lead and victory in the 120km event in a total ride time of 4:18:28.
The ride’s top three finishers led the charge in the final loop as the group departed the gate within two seconds of one another.
Eventual runner-up Ghanim Said aboard Wamid, was first out just two seconds ahead of Saeed Mohammad on Nabi Du Cassou, who finished the ride in third. In the fourth loop, Shaikh Dalmook was a mere four seconds behind the leaders allowing him to easily close for the victory.
The Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup, sponsored by Emirates and organised by Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC), served as the climatic event of the four-day Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival at the Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC).
Fourth was awarded to Salim Said Al Owais of F3 Stables, and fifth was Hamad Obaid Rashed Al Kaabi of MRM Stables.
The event brought to close the prestigious Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival that consisted of four events held March 14,15,16 and 19. Headed by the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Ride yesterday as the closing event, the festival included the Dubai Crown Prince Ride for Ladies on Monday, the only contest exclusively offered for women; Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Ride restricted to Private Stables on Tuesday and the Yamamah Endurance Cup for Mares on Wednesday.
Mohammad Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of DEC, said: “We are honoured to organise and present the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup as a wonderful finish to the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival. This is a great festival that showcases all segments of the endurance riding sport. We congratulate all the riders that took part in the festival and congratulate today’s winner. We thank Emirates for sponsorship of the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup and thank them for their wonderful support of endurance riding.”