Abu Dhabi : The UAE's domestic endurance season may be on its home stretch, the temperatures may be rising but there just seems to be no stopping Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi.
The trainer-cum-rider of Al Reef Stables, owned by Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of President's Private Department, once again battered the record for a 120km ride by more than 11 minutes in yesterday's Shaikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival 2010 at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.
Riding 12-year-old chestnut gelding Trajano, Al Beloushi, who had rewritten the record (four hours 32 minutes 26 seconds) last month in Dubai with a timing of 4 hours 32 minutes 26 seconds, lowered it further to 4 hours 18 minutes and 52 seconds.
Battling to second place was Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on Saluki, and it was this Al Wathba rider who had held the record for two years before Al Beloushi broke it on February 6 this year.
Al Beloushi, who recorded an average ride time of 27.81 kmph during the 120-km FEI two star ride said, "I am very happy as this is the third win for Trajano. The conditions were tough as it was a bit hotter than expected."
"Once I got into the lead in the fourth loop, I sensed that my horse was in a good condition so I decided to try and go for a record," said Al Beloushi, who has been one of the most consistent riders and trainers over the last couple of years.
Yesterday's ride was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Shaikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum along with Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Ali Al Muhairi, Racing Manager of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Lara Sawaya, Managing Director of Tasweeq attended the prize distribution ceremony.
1. Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi (Trajano-Al Reef Stables) 4hrs 18 mins 52secs; 2. Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (Saluki-Al Wathba Stables) 4:23.09, 3. Munthar Ahmad Al Beloushi (Silversprings Kabir Arwa- Al Reef Stables) 4:32.28,; 4. Saeed Mohammad Al Jaber Al Marri (Elphyn Silverlight- Al-Reef Stables) 4:34.35,; 5. Saif Sultan Al Bu Amim (Omaani Iman-Al Aasfa Ltd) 4:37.43.