Abu Dhabi Teeanger Saeed Mohammad Khalifa Al Mehairi claimed the biggest victory of his burgeoning career when delivering a gripping performance in the final leg of the 160km CEI3* His Highness The President of the UAE Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.
Representing the powerful MRM Stables aboard the eleven-year-old gleding Mureib, the talented 18-year-old rider made ever yard count in the 20km run to judge, to finish 50 seconds clear of second placed Suhail Ali Rashed Ali Al Ghailani (Khalifa) and Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi who finished third on Castlebar Tornedo.
The prestigious 160km ride which is organized by the HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, also participated in the ride.
Al Mehairi, who won the 120km Dubai Crown Prince Cup last year in Seih Assalam, attributed his victory to the advice he received from Shaikh Mohammad.
“I dedicate this win to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed who was behind my success,” said the teenager. “He told me what to do. All I did was to implement his plan and strategy, and it has worked.
“This is my biggest success as it’s The President’s Cup.
“The race was tough and the heat made it challenging. But my horse was well prepared thanks to the hard work of the trainer Ismail Mohammad.”
The victory helps further establish Emirati Ismail Mohammad’s reputation as one of the best endurance trainers in the world. His biggest triumphs include winning the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in August last year with UAE-bred Yamamah, who he prepared for Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad and Tiswan Fageole who galloped to victory in the World Junior Endurance Championships in Slovakia, under young Emirati rider Mansour Saeed Al Faresi.
Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious rides on the endurance calendar the President’s Cup attracted 158 competitive from around the world
The ride was staged over five loops of 40km, 40km, 32km, 28km and 20km.
Al Mehairi, who was in 12th place at the end of the third loop, swiftly moved into third place behind the leading duo of Argentina’s Catalina Bastons (Mansoura) and Al Ghailani in the penultimate stage.
Bastons dominated her rivals over the first four stages but faded away in the final stage as Al Mehairi and Al Ghailani took control together with Al Harbi.
Al Mehairi was first past the finish line in a time of 5 hrs 55 minutes and 40 seconds.
While it was heartbreak for Bastons who could only finish seventh, she still drove home with her second luxury 4WD car in eight days having placed sixth in the 120km Emirates Championship at the same venue.
All the top 10 riders were awarded a brand new 4WD.
The HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society.
It issupported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carrier.
It is also sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.
1. Saeed Mohammad Khalifa Al Mehairi (Mureib) 5hrs 55 mins 40 secs;
2. Suhail Ali Rashed Ali Al Ghailani (Kalifa) 5:56.30s.
3. Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi (Castlebar Tornedo) 5:57.41s.
4. Mohammed Hasan Ahmad Al Hammadi (Condenado) 6:10.20s.
5. Shaikh Hamed Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum (Quersick Niellans) 6:01.09s.