Abu Dhabi: The UAE's Shaikh Abdullah Bin Faisal Al Qasimi leads a strong 6-member team in today's World Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders to be held in Babolna, Hungary.
Shaikh Abdullah, who will be chasing a podium finish in the individual event for the third consecutive championship, will also be hoping to ensure the UAE go one better than the team silver medal-winning performance that they achieved in Argentina in 2007.
The other members of the UAE team are Shaikh Saqr Bin Faisal Al Qasimi, Mohammad Ahmad Ali Al Subose, Ali Ganem Al Merri, Hussain Ali Al Marzouqi and Majid Mohammad Al Sabri.
Shaikh Abdullah won a silver medal when the World Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders was held in Bahrain in 2005 and followed it up with a bronze medal finish in 2007 in Argentina.
Apart from Shaikh Abdullah's bronze in Argentina, the UAE had won the team silver and Mohammad Ahmad Ali Al Subose returns after playing a crucial role in that team medal success.
Over 100 riders from 26 countries will be taking part in today's championship which will be run over a distance of 120 kilometres. Competitions will be held on the individual as well as team championship and the UAE along with Uruguay, who won the team and individual gold in 2007, start among the favourite nations.
While Shaikh Abdullah is expected to ride Castlebar Sobia, Shaikh Saqr will be on Castlebar Trueman with Al Subose riding Cloud Valley Armani, Al Merri on Ridasa Dr GBM, Al Marzouqi on Sergai and Al Sabri on Mitsouku de Sauveterre.
Spain and France along with hosts Hungary are also expected to be strong contenders in today's event.
The event is being held at the historic Babolna National Stud farm in Hungary which was founded in 1789 and has been breeding Arabian horses since then.