Dubai: The CEN 120 Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup is the highlight of a week-long Endurance festival held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council.

The prestigious ride brings to a close the endurance season in Dubai.

Organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club, and held at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City, features the participation of local and international horse and rider pairings in four separate rides.

These included the CEN 90km Dubai Crown Prince Ride for Ladies on Monday followed by the CEN 100km Dubai Crown Prince Ride Restricted to Private Stables/Individuals the next day and the CEN 119km Yamamah Endurance Cup for Mares on Wednesday.

The finale — the CEN 120km Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup will be staged on Saturday, where a host of national and international star horse-rider combinations are expected to compete for the coveted title.

Shaikh Hamdan, after whom the event is named, has distinguished himself as an elite athlete in the world of endurance racing, winning several local and international titles and remains an inspirational role model. The Crown Prince has used his enormous reach as a popular leader and supporter of equestrian sport to help motivate Emirati riders to take up endurance.

A most recent example is the 17-year-old winner of the Gamilati Endurance Cup for Mares held last month, Hamdan Ahmad Al Marri.

Shaikh Hamdan works tirelessly towards creating an extensive platform for UAE’s sporting community to compete in a variety of disciplines, with the larger objective of promoting healthy living in the country.

Mohammad Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of DEC, said: “The Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival offers local riders the opportunity to compete at a high level, alongside some of international riders in the sport. Along with the HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, this is the one of the well-regarded Endurance events in the region, and we strive to make it bigger and better every year.

“His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Shaikh Hamdan are great supporters of equestrian sport in the UAE, and we are deeply grateful to them for their enduring support.

“It is also a great tribute to our efforts to be joined once again by Emirates Airlines. We thank them for their support and sponsorship of the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup on Saturday. We look forward to another successful renewal, and wish all competitors the very best of luck.”

Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice-President, Commercial Operations, Centre, said: “Emirates has a long history with horse racing and equestrian sports, not only in Dubai but around the globe and we are honoured to support this year’s HH Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup. This race is a testament a horse’s endurance and a rider’s skills and Emirates is delighted to sponsor this excellent event and we are confident that this year’s race will be incredibly successful.”