The Dubai Equestrian Club will hold a unique FEI Endurance CEI2* 120km ride on Wednesday, November 15 based on the concept of a staggered start.
This is the first of its kind for a CEI2* 120km event worldwide, and will be conducted at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City.
Usually FEI rides feature a mass start, where all participants leave together, and the first to finish is declared winner. In this case flexibility is key and the riders will be allowed to start within a broad window spanning across almost two hours, at their own convenience.
The advantage of a staggered start is also that riders are able to ride alone or with a preferred group and therefore are able to pace themselves, which allows for optimal performance.
Over 400 entries have been received for this FEI-CEI2* 120 km ride. The horses will be examined on the same morning at 6:00 and following registration the riders and horses will be able to embark upon the 120km ride according to the official timings.
With a total of four loops, the first is 40km, the second is 35km, the third 27km, and the final loop is 18km.
DEC General manager Mohammed Essa said “We are pleased to offer riders and horse connections this unique and wonderful opportunity to compete in an FEI – CEI2* 120km ride, where they compete in the best possible conditions, offering great flexibility despite having a pretty large field of over 400 competitors.
“Our effort is to accommodate large number of participants with no restrictions in terms of entering as long as they fulfil the eligibility conditions. This encourages extraordinary performances, and helps the horse rider pairings to produce some top-class timings.
“We are constantly striving to provide our riders and horses with better facilities and opportunities to help grow the sport of endurance riding, and set the standard locally and on the global stage. This is one step in that direction.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, honored the first batch of the Masar Godolphin programme at a ceremony at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
The event was attended by the Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Speaking at the event, Joe Osborne, Group Chief Executive for Godolphin, said: “Masar Godolphin represents yet another demonstration of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s enduring passion for horse breeding and racing, and his continued commitment to the creation of a sustainable future for both the industry and the individuals involved in it.”
“This inaugural cohort experienced every aspect of horse racing and breeding in both Europe and the UAE, preparing them incredibly well for a future in this most exciting and demanding business. The quality of academia, horsemanship and personal development required to complete the programme was of the highest order.”
Ali Al Ali, Head of Masar Godolphin, said: “Their graduation was the final step in a nine-month journey, which provided eight outstanding and ambitious UAE nationals with a unique and unrivalled opportunity to embrace their equestrian heritage, with the aim of becoming the business leaders of the future.”
Ribchester is poised to end his illustrious racing career with a crack at the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on Nov 4 before retirement to Kildangan Stud as a Darley stallion.
The Godolphin flagship was given the green light to travel by trainer Richard Fahey after a routine workout on his home gallops at Malton, North Yorkshire, on Thursday.
It will be only 14 days between Ribchester’s gallant second to Persuasive in Ascot’s QEII in soft ground and his Breeders’ Cup assignment, which will almost certainly take place on a fast surface. William Buick will again take the ride.
Fahey is not concerned about the short gap between races. “He has kept his coat, he looks a picture, and clearly, he wants to go,” Fahey said to Godolphin.com. “He has done everything but tell me himself that he should be on the plane to California.
“I’m very happy with him. He’s in great order,” he added.
Ribchester has been described by Fahey as having a remarkable constitution.
“He’s very tough,” he said.
The four-year-old son of Iffraaj goes into his last race with an impressive record of six wins, five seconds and three thirds, from 15 starts. If toughness is one trade mark, consistency is the other.
The Breeders’ Cup in America marks the fourth country in which he will have competed and the 11th G1 race of his career.