Abu Dhabi : Saudi Arabia's Latifa Al Shaikh got the best out of her 14-year-old grey gelding Coolaroo Jubal on the final two loops to win the 90km Shaikha Fatima Bint Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup for Ladies ride yesterday at the Emirates International Endurance Village.
In a close finish, Latifa finished ahead of Morocco's Maha Khalid on Princess Diana TE with Estonia's Kaja Tuist on Chazar Queen of Hearts in third place.
Kaja Tuist set the pace, recording an average speed of nearly 30km an hour in the first stage of 30km, and maintaining that lead after the next stage of 24km.
However, in the third loop of 20km, Latifa made her move and soon went ahead to top that stage with Morocco's Maha moving into second followed by Spain's Uma Mencia Uranga while leader Kaja Tuist slipped to fifth place.
Going into the final stage of 16km, Latifa, who has been involved in equestrian since the age of four, used her skills to keep Coolaroo Jubal in good condition and won the 90km ladies ride.
Maha finished second while Kaja Tuist again moved into third place.
"This is my third ride in the UAE and I have finished second in the other two. I am very happy and today's effort was a perfect one. I enjoyed the ride, the conditions were very good and overall my horse looked a winner from the halfway stage," Latifa said.
"I have been involved in show jumping from when I was just four and took to endurance three years ago," she added.
Latifa and Coolaroo Jubal completed the 4-stage race in 3 hours 10 minutes and 17 seconds with an average ride speed of 28.38km an hour.
Yesterday's Ride carried a total purse of Dh500,000, including two cars.
Top five winners in Shaikha Fatima Cup
1. Latifa Al Shaikh — Saudi Arabia (Coolaroo Jubal) 3 hrs 10 mins and 17 seconds 2. Maha Khalid — Morocco — (Princess Diana TE) 3:14.49 3. Kaja Tuisk — Estonia — (Chazar Queen of Hearts) 3:16.11 4. Laila Abdul Aziz Al Reda — UAE— (Shddad) 3:16.46; 5. Sara Mohammad Al Jaber Al Merri — (Nishtar) 3:17.35.