Abu Dhabi: A strong contingent of UAE riders will be challenged by some of the world's top riders in the fifth edition of the His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup on Saturday, a 160-km ride which is the feature event of the season for rides held at the Dubai International Endurance City course.
The three-star ride will be run in five stages and is being organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC), which is part of the Meydan Group, and is presented by Longines, the official timekeeper and supported by Emirates Airline, the official airline.
The UAE riders' list, which includes members of the winning team at the last World Endurance Championship and the Arab Games held recently, and also the European Open champion Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and the Arab Games individual champion Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi, are expected to dominate the event.
The international line-up is likely to include two-time world champion Maria Alvarez Ponton and former world champion Miguel Villa apart from other top riders.
"The Dubai Equestrian Club is once again honoured to offer the His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup to the world of endurance riding that includes the competitors, crews, officials and all the people that make this great sport possible," said Mohammad Eisa Al Adhab, deputy general manager of the Dubai Equestrian Club.
"This is truly a sports event that displays and celebrates our equestrian culture and the legacy of the horse," he said at a press conference yesterday.
Juan-Carlos Capelli, vice-president and head of international marketing of Longines, said, the Endurance Cup is "a blend of fortitude, technique and stamina and examines the harmony and balance between a rider and their horse. [It is] a race that requires precision, concentration and commitment, the Endurance cup fully corresponds to the values of Longines."
"Emirates has a strong affiliation with horse racing events and equestrian sports around the globe and we are incredibly proud to announce our sponsorship of the 2012 His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Endurance Cup," said Khalid Al Haddad, district manager Sharjah and Northern Emirates for Emirates Airline.
"Endurance riding holds a prestigious place in the sporting calendar of the UAE and our sponsorship of this race further highlights our commitment to the equine world. This race is a true testament of both the horse's endurance and rider's skills and I look forward to the race," he added.