The UAE made history at the FEI CSI 4 Star World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors when Saeed Al Muhairi won the 120km ride for the third consecutive time on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Al Muhairi exhibited maturity beyond his young years to master an international field of 74 riders in a time of 5 hours, 9 minutes and 10 seconds.
It was a repeat performance of his Italian successes at San Rossore in 2019 and Valeggio Sul Mincico in 2017.
Abdulla Alamri rallied to finish second behind compatriot Al Muhairi in a time of 5 hours, 9 minutes and 19 seconds.
In third place was Spanish star Rut Badia Marfa, who led the way as they came into the final lap of the arduous race, before dropping back with a time of 5 hours, 9 minutes and 25 seconds.
The endurance course, which was situated in the National Equestrian Centre at Ermelo, was clearly no easy ride and only 40 completed the course from the field of 74.
Three other UAE riders — Khalfan Beljafla, Hamdan Al Marri and Fares Al Mansoori were vetted out, denying the UAE the team gold, which is dependent on a minimum of three riders completing the course.
Al Muhairi found a willing ally in 10-year-old Arabian mare Haleh, who represented trainer Mohammed Ahmad Ali Al Subose and M7 Endurance Stables in Dubai.
Runner-up Ali Alamri was aboard the F3 Endurance Stables-owned 12-year-old Tonki Dee Boo Nasil, a part-bred Arabian, trained by Khalifa Ghanim Al Marri.
All participants must have been born between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2007, according to the FEI general rules.
FEI CSI 4 Star World Endurance Championships for Young Riders
1. Saeed Al Muhairi (UAE) — 5:09.10
2. Abdulla Alamri (UAE) — 5:09.19
3. Rut Badia Marfa (ESP) — 5:09.25
4. Anne Marijin Kok (FRA) — 5:25.21
5. Lea Vandekerckhove (NED) — 5:38.00