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Al Merri gallops to 100km Endurance Cup victory

Teenager wins the race on nine-year-old Highland View Dolly

Image Credit: Supplied
Winners Ahmad Mohammad Al Jaber Al Merri, Saif MubarakObaid Al Khaili and Hamad Bader Abdullah Al Hammadi,with Taleb Daher Al Muhairi, secretary-general, EmiratesEquestrian Federation, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, directorgeneralof Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Lara Sawaya,director of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan GlobalArabian Flat Racing Festival, in Al Wathba on Friday.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Ahmad Mohammad Al Jaber Al Merri won the 100km Shaikh Zayed Bin Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup for the second consecutive year to drive away with the car which was the winner's prize at yesterday's event.

Al Merri rode nine-year-old Anglo-Arab chestnut Highland View Dolly to a superb win at the Emirates International Endurance Village to once again top the event, which is open only to privately-owned horses.

The university student had last season won this 100km UAE national ride on Shardell Sharana Golden and yesterday he repeated that feat, this time finishing on top of a 78-strong field.

The 18-year-old Al Merri started on a very strong note in the very first loop, finishing second, and he never fell below that position in the four-stage race, which he won in a time of three hours, 46 minutes and 19 seconds.

‘Never let down'

Always travelling above an average of 26kmh, Al Merri on Highland View Dolly recorded an average speed of 29.77kmh in the final stage to finish nearly three minutes ahead of Saif Mubarak Obaid Al Khaili on Davlyn Park Apache.

Al Merri, delighted with his second success in this event, said: "I have in fact been preparing for this event for some time now.

"The weather was very good in the first two loops but in the third and fourth loop it became a bit difficult. But my horse never let me down and in the end it was a great win for me."

The ride, which had a total prize money of Dh500,000, including the car on offer, was run in four loops of 33km, 27km, 24km and 16km and in the end 27 riders completed the race.

Taleb Daher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of Emirates Equestrian Federation, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Lara Sawaya, Director of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, distributed the prizes.

The Emirates International Endurance Village will stage a 120km Al Wathba Challenge ride today.