Abu Dhabi: Over 60 riders from 29 countries will be competing in the 120-km FEI Junior and Young Rider World Endurance Championship to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba this Saturday.
Speaking to Gulf News, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club who is the Event Director for the championship said, "Saturday's 120-km event is being held by the Adec and the Emirates International Endurance Village. Quite a few teams have already arrived and we are in top gear preparing for this junior world championship."
The UAE, which has many endurance rides for juniors, will be among the favourites for a medal in both the individual as well as team categories.
The UAE's Hussain Ali Al Marzouqi on Sergai won the last FEI Junior and Young Rider World Endurance Championship held in Hungary in 2009 while in last year's European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championship the UAE again finished on top with Ahmed Ali Al Sabri winning the gold in the Open category on Alizee de Marjolaine.
"The event will be supervised by some of the top officials approved by the FEI and we are expecting a very smooth event with the climate being the most ideal for endurance racing at this part of the year," Al Nuaimi said.
"We have planned a series of events for the young riders starting with a Team excursion to the Ferrari World tomorrow (Tuesday) night. The opening ceremony will be held at the Emirates Palace at 8pm on Wednesday followed by a gala dinner," he said.
"The young riders will get another team excursion on Thursday to the Desert Safari Dinner while on Friday their horses will undergo the pre-ride vet check," the Event Director said.
The ride gets off to a mass start on Saturday at 6:30 am while the prize distribution will be held on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club at a gala dinner function.
Teams will be represented by four riders who should have qualified along with the horses for the championship. While all four will have a go at the individual title the three best timings of each team will count for the team classification.
The countries being represented are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Slovakia, Sweden, South Africa, Uruguay and hosts UAE.