Dubai: Over 200 riders from 32 countries will vie for top honours in the 2014 edition of the Festival Mondial d’Endurance in Compiegne, France sponsored by the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
The overwhelming number of entries received for the event’s two feature rides ensures that it even surpasses the European Championship in terms of international participation.
A strong contingent representing the UAE will be seen in action in the 160-km CEI-O Three Star ride on Friday. The squad is led by Shaikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, Shaikh Hasher Bin Mohammad Thani Al Maktoum and Shaikh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum.
This ride, which will act as a qualifier for the World Equestrian Games to be held in Normandy in France from July 28, will be held over five stages of 39.4 kilometres, 36 kilometres, 34.4 kilometres, 30.3 kilometres and 20.1 kilometres each.
On Sunday, over 125 of the best lady riders will compete for the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Cup over 120km.
The event will also see classifications to decide the overall winners as well as the Nations Cup team toppers.
“We are delighted to be back here again and we thank His Highness Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation [FDF] and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for their support,” said Lara Sawaya, Director of the Shaikh Mansour Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing at the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
“It is a very busy period for the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival over the next fortnight.
“After the endurance rides here in France, the Festival will unveil the 5th edition of the World Arabian Racing Conference in London.
“Besides the three-day conference, an endurance ride and the two premier flat races [Newbury], the Festival will move to Sweden for the Stockholm leg on June 6.”
The HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society.
It is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Al Rashid Investment, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Centre, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.