A brilliant performance by UAE teenager Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri on his 10-year-old Arabian stallion, Quran El Ulm, helped him score a narrow victory in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s prestigious National Day Cup.
It was the 19-year-old’s first victory in the 120-km Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Village in Al Wathba that took palce on Saturday.
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Representing Fazza 3 Stables, Al Marri started the final 16-km loop in seventh and finished just one second ahead of early leader Mohammed Al Abbar on Raksha.
Saeed Jaber Al Harbi completed a 1-2-3 sweep by the UAE on JQ Safi Safra, ahead of Argentinean jockey Martina Spelanzon.
Al Marri covered the distance in four hours, 10 minutes and 39 seconds at an average speed of 28.72km per hour.
The top 11 finishers drove away with 4WD vehicles that were on offer by the Emirates International Endurance Village.
Held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the race attracted a quality group of 164 riders representing the UAE, Gulf states, Europe, Latin America and beyond in a truly global field.
Following his previous wins in UAE, UK and France, Al Marri said this particular success is very special for him and would like to dedicate his success to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as well as Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
“I have followed the plan of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who was supervising my progress in the race. I have ridden my horse patiently and settled in the middle of the field,” said Al Marri who was in 36th place after three of the five laps.
“Quran El Ulm is a good horse and I have expected myself to win when I saw my horse showing his stamina in the final two loops. He was picking up very impressively and travelled well to put his head in front on the line,” he added.