Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, finished in the top five to pick up valuable points in the first of the three-round FEI Three-Star 120-km Giants Endurance Challenge (Body Weight) Ride on Saturday.
Shaikh Mansour, riding Carallio, finished second behind Abdullah Saeed Bin Huzaim on Nucius Romas while Shaikh Mohammad finished fifth on Tazoul Al Parry in yesterday's ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.
Bahrain's Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa finished fourth and the leading riders in this 75kg Body Weight ride will now meet again in Bahrain in the second round on January 10, 2009.
In the National Day Cup ride, Ali Mohammad Al Muhairi drove away with a 4WD car and a slice of the Dh500,000 on offer after finishing first in the Hydra Properties-sponsored event.
Al Muhairi, a consistent performer on the international circuit, did very well to win from Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed while Sultan Bin Sulayem, winner of the bronze in last month's World Championship in Malaysia, finished third.
In the Giants ride, Bin Huzaim moved into the lead in the third loop and from then on he was always ahead to win but it was Shaikh Mansour who dazzled with a superb finish.
Riding after a long gap, Shaikh Mansour was second after the second loop but his horse Carallio's temperament in the vet gate after the third loop cost him a five-minute penalty. Carallio was presented with a heartbeat rate of 61 beats per minute (maximum allowed is 65bpm) but during the trot-up, he played up and that resulted in a re-presentation after five minutes by which time he calmed down and passed the vet check. But that five minutes set Shaikh Mansour back and in the final loop, he was in seventh position but he moved up five places to finish second.
FEI Three-Star 120-km National Day Cup Ride
1. Ali Mohammad Al Muhairi (Sudan) 4hours 47mins 54 seconds
2. Abdullah Khamis Ali Saeed (Tris Filou) 4:52.22
3. Sultan Ahmad Sultan Bin Sulayem (Bebabeloula) 5:00.09
4. Alice Beet -GBR- (Baraka Kariz) 5:04.31
5. Majid Mohammad Salman Al Sabri (Meissan Du Loup) 5:06.37
FEI Three-Star 120-km Giants Endurance Challenge (Body Weight) Ride
1. Abdullah Saeed Bin Huzaim (Nucius Romas) 4hrs 58 mns 10 secs
2. Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Carallio) 5:08.34
3. Ahmad Ali Bin Harmash (Aratahnes Legend) 5:13.06
4. Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa (Bahrain) (Omsura Nasrohn) 5:16.51
5. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Tazoul Al Parry) 5:21.39