Dubai : Defending champion Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri delivered a stunning repeat performance to win the His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup for the second year in succession at Dubai International Endurance City yesterday.
Al Jahouri held off a challenge from Al Wathba stables teammate Mohammad Mubarak Al Sayari in a dramatic finish to prevail by just two seconds.
The talented Emirati horseman, who has ridden and trained purebred Arabian endurance horses for the last 10 years, clocked a winning time of 6 hours 31 minutes and 19 seconds.
Al Sayari was two seconds back in 06.31.21 seconds.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also participated in the event together with his son Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture.
The FEI CEI three-star ride was held over a distance of 160 km and organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club.
Al Jahouri looks to be in red-hot form having only last week won the Emirates Championship at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.
Riding Bouwman Nasrof, a nine-year-old grey gelding, Al Jahouri rode a patient race.
After finishing the first and second loops in 12th and 13th places, he moved up the field in the third loop to take fourth place.
The 34-year-old Al Jahouri went into the lead in the fourth loop and paced his horse perfectly in the first loop to narrowly beat Al Sayari.
The latter also delivered a strong performance moving up the field from 21st position to make a bid for the title in the final loop.
Saif Sultan Abdullah Dhahi Al Bu Amim, representing the Al Aasfa Stables, took third place with a time of 06.33.12 seconds.
Al Bu Amim led for the early part of the ride but gradually dropped back after each of the first loops.
Over hundred riders from UAE and Europe participated in the prestigious competition including two ex-World Cup champions.
The ride distance was divided into six phases.
The Red Loop comprised 31km after which the horses were presented twice within 20 minutes and 30 minutes hold time.
The second phase through the Blue Loop ran over 30km and the same rules as above for the presentation and the hold time applied.
1. Al Khalfan Al Jahouri (UAE/ Al Wathba Stables/ riding Bowman Nasrof). Time: 06:31.19secs.
2. Mohammad Mubarak Al Sayari (UAE/ Al Wathba Stables/ Kalifa) Time: 06:31.21secs.
3. Saif Sultan Abdullah Dhahi Al Bu Amim (UAE/ Al Aasfa Stables/ Kumait) Time: 06:33.12secs,