Abu Dhabi: The Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival announced their association with international endurance rides here at a press conference on Monday.

Lara Sawaya, Director of the Festival and Head of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Ladies Racing, said two rides will be held under the banner of the Festival starting with a 160-km ride later this month.

“We are proud to announce that the Festival will now be officially involved in two international endurance rides under the directives of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affair,” Sawaya said.

“The first ride is a CEI-O three-star Nation Cup ride which will be over a distance of 160km in Compiegne, France, and will be the last 160-km ride before the World Equestrian Games. There will be participants from all over the world, including from the UAE, and this race will take place on May 24 with pre-inspection on May 23,” she said.

“The second ride that the Festival will be involved in is the 2013 FEI World Endurance Championship for Juniors and Young Riders which will take place on July 27, 2013 in Tarbes, France. Riders and teams from 44 countries will be in the fray in the 120km event,” she said.

The events will be streamlined live on the net and Abu Dhabi Sports Channel will transmit live the main features of the two rides.

Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club who also addressed the press conference, said: “The Emirates International Endurance Village will sponsor the top five finishers of the 160km FEI CEIO 3-star event to compete in the HH the President’s Endurance Cup in 2014 in Abu Dhabi.”

Talal Al Hashmi of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “We at ADSC are always keen to support all sporting events that help revive the UAE traditions and also put Abu Dhabi on the international sporting map. We are glad to be supporting the two endurance rides as part of the ADSC initiatives.”