lundi 7 janvier 2008

Strong French line-up for HHSM Endurance Cup 2008



Strong French line-up for HHSM Endurance Cup 2008

For immediate release
Monday, January 07, 2008

The 12 French riders invited for the Dh1.5 million HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 are among of the best riders in the world and will be making a strong bid to extend their success to the UAE.

Returning to the scene of her historic triumph in the 2005 World Championship here inDubai is Barbara Lissarrague.

On board Georgat, Lissarrague had registered one of the fastest timings ever here at the Dubai International Endurance City - 7 hrs 04 mins and 14 seconds - to win the championship and she is back again, this time accompanied by a few other championship winners.

Jean Philippe Frances, winner of the 2006 European Open championship and also a gold medal winner with the French team in 2002, is also in the fray, as are World Equestrian Games team gold medal winners in 2006, Virginie Atger, Philippe Benoit and Sophie Arnaud.

Atger also finished second in the same World Equestrian Games, in which Elodie Le Labourier was third to boost the French dominance.

Among the French pack is the in-form Jack Begaud, currently ranked two in the FEI World Rankings. He has entered Idias Tohiba, the horse with which he finished second last November in the Malaysian World Championship pre-ride and adds to the strength of the French line-up.

Cecile Miletto, the 2000 World Silver Medalist is also back and along with Philippe Tomas, Jean Michel Grimal, Larent Mosti and Julie Lafaure, will pose a strong French challenge to the hosts UAE.

Though it is the off-season back home, most of the French horses and riders have already arrived here to acclimatize themselves ahead of the January 12, 160-km ride, which will be run in six stages.

Commenting on her preparation, Miletto, who is no newcomer to the Dubai course, said: “The weather will be a problem as it is snowing back home. Added to that will be the high speeds. We normally do an average speed of 19kmph but here it is about 22kmph.”

The riders, who are based at the Bab Al Shams Resort next to the Dubai InternationalEndurance City, have been giving their horses light workouts in the mornings.

Last Sunday, the Dubai Equestrian Club announced the world’s richest-ever endurance ride – the HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2008 – with Omega as the title sponsor.

Twenty six international riders will be joined by UAE and other riders from the region in the 160-km event which is an FEI CEI 3* event.

Ends

For further information please contact:
Media Department, Dubai Racing Club
E-mail: media@dubairacingclub.com
Tel: +971 4 316 8653 Fax: +971 4 327 0048

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