Top French riders will be among 200 participants at the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup CEI*** to be held at the Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) course on Saturday.
They will be among 20 overseas riders from Bahrain, France, UK, Italy and Spain who will be vying with Emiratis for top honours in the fifth running of this presitigious event presented by Longines, the official timekeeper of Meydan Group, and supported by Emirates Airline, official airline of Meydan Group.
The event annually serves as the highlight of the Dubai Endurance season bringing together some of the world’s greatest riders to test their skills over the 160km challenge Organised and hosted by the Dubai Equestrian Club.
The ride is scheduled to start 6.30 am at DIEC in the Seih Assalam area of Dubai, adjacent to Bab al Shams Desert Resort.
Nina Lassarague, 18, will be the youngest competitor at the event. Representing France at the World Junior Endurance Championships held in Abu Dhabi, Nina was placed second in the team event along with Led Vogles, who has been taking part in the Sheikh Mohammed bid Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup for the past three years. Cecile Demierre, Roland Vera and Laurent Noshi are the other French riders who are ranked among the top 10 back home.
“The Dubai Equestrian Club is once again honoured to offer the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup to the world of endurance riding that includes the competitors, crews, officials and all the people that make this great sport possible,” said Mohammed Essa Al Adnab, Deputy General Manager of the Dubai Equestrian Club at a press conference to announce the event at Medyan on Tuesday.
“We extend our special appreciation to our distinguished sponsors, Longines and Emirates Airline. They support this great event and the tradition of the horse in the United Arab Emirates. This is truly a sports event that displays and celebrates our equestrian culture and the legacy of the horse.”
“Ensuing from its partnership with the Meydan group, we are delighted to announce that Longines is the presenting sponsor and official timekeeper for the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President and Head of International Marketing of Longines.
“The HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup presented by Longines is a blend of fortitude, technique and stamina and examines the harmony and balance between a rider and their horse. A race that requires precision, concentration and commitment, the Endurance cup fully corresponds to the values of Longines.”
In a fitting tribute to honour the spirit, masterful skills and determination of the winning rider, Longines will bestow the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup champion with a stunning timepiece, The Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph Gold.
“Emirates has a strong affiliation with horse racing events and equestrian sports around the globe and we are incredibly proud to announce our sponsorship of the 2012 HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Endurance Cup,” said Khalid Al Haddad, District Manager Sharjah and Northern Emirates for Emirates Airline.
“Endurance riding holds a prestigious place in the sporting calendar of the UAE and our sponsorship of this race further highlights our commitment to the equine world. This race is a true testament of both the horse’s endurance and rider’s skills and I look forward to the race.”
The event will be divided into five stages. After the completion of each stage, the horses are rested and refreshed and undergo a veterinary exam to determine if they meet the physical standards to continue the event through the next stage.
The horse that finishes first, as well as all finishers, must successfully complete a post-race veterinary exam to determine they did not exceed the physical standards set forth by the sport. It is only after the final veterinary exam that the official order of finish is determined and announced.