Abu Dhabi: Hamdan Mousa Mohammad Al Hammadi's seven-year wait for a podium finish ended in style when the youngster won the His Highness The President's Cup for Junior and Young Riders at the Boudtheib Endurance Village in Al Khatem on Saturday.

Riding 11-year-old grey mare Nadja Lotoise, Al Hammadi finished just ahead of Rashid Ahmad Al Beloushi with Khalifa Ganem Al Merri in third, a mere 18 seconds separating the top three riders.

Al Hammadi and his horse took 4 hours 48 minutes and 15 seconds to complete the five-loop 120-km event which was sponsored by Hydra Properties.

"This is my first ever win and I have been taking part in competitions for over seven years now. Finally to win in the President's Cup is a great victory and I am very happy," said Al Hammadi, whose average speed for the 120-km ride was just under 25 km/h.

'Very tough'

"Before today's win, my best performance was a 11th place finish. It was very tough and the junior rides have some of the best UAE riders taking part. They are always very tough," he added.

Hamdan and Nadja Lotoise were placed 9th after the first 30km and after the third loop and 84km the pair had moved into third place. They moved into second place after the fourth loop of 20km and then in the final 16km had enough to top the field.

Following behind the top three UAE riders was Spain's Uma Mencia Uranga. Riding jade Al Kashmir, Uma dropped to 13th place in the second loop after finishing 7th in the first. But she gradually kept moving up to take fourth place.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan along with Hydra Properties CEO, Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim, Emirates Heritage Club's Mohammad Saif Al Neyadi and Tasweeq Managing Director Lara Sawaya took part in the prize distribution ceremony.

"We have been at the forefront of supporting equestrian activities and this ride is special as it is the His Highness The President's Cup and it is for juniors. We are delighted to be supporting this event as it is the junior riders," Dr Sulaiman said.