samedi 15 mars 2008

Shaikh Hamdan races to victory in Bahrain

DUBAI Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum was crowned champion of the senior race and compatriot Rashid Al Belooshi won the junior race in His Majesty King Hamad Endurance Horseride Championship yesterday.

The event, which was held at the Bahrain International Endurance Horseride Village in Sakhir, saw top riders from Bahrain and other GCC countries compete in both the senior and junior races which were over 120km each.

Each race was divided into five stages with 30km for the first two stages, 25km for the third, 20km for the fourth and 15km for the fifth.

It was the UAE riders who dominated both races and took the top four positions in the senior race besides a first-place finish in the junior race. Shaikh Hamdan, son of the UAE vice-president and Dubai ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, steered Wadhnan to victory with a total ride time of four hours, 57 minutes and 51 seconds.

Behind him was compatriot Omair Al Belooshi in 4:57:53 with Mohammed Al Saboosi, also of the UAE, third in 5:09:33. Mohammed Al Mahlasi (5:09:53) of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Team came fourth and UAE's Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (5:10:38) fifth.

Bahrain's best result in the senior race was achieved by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa who finished sixth overall riding Omsura Asrohn in 5:13:19.

In the junior race, Rashid came on top with Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa of Ahmed Al Fateh Stable in second place and Abdulla Al Khatry of Al Asayel Stable third.

The top 10 riders in each race were honoured at the prize-giving ceremony held right after the races. The prizes were presented by His Majesty King Hamad and representatives of the three companies which sponsored the event.

The sponsoring companies were Al Areen Holding Company, Gulf Holding Company and International Bank.

Shaikh Hamdan was presented with the event's top prize of a vehicle worth BD16,000 and a special sword which was presented by His Majesty. An award of BD7,000 was presented to the runner-up, BD6,000 for third place, BD5,000 for fourth and BD4,000 for fifth.

The remaining five riders were also honoured with six place winning BD3,000, BD2,500 for seventh, BD2,000 for eighth, BD1,500 for ninth and BD1,000 for 10th place.

Rashid claimed the junior race cash award of BD6,000 while the runner-up received BD5,000.

The third-place winner was given BD4,000, BD3,000 for fourth place, BD2,500 for fifth, BD2,000 for sixth, BD1,500 for seventh, BD1,000 for eighth, BD800 for ninth and BD600 for 10th.

The event was also attended by the Crown Prince and Supreme Council for Youth and Sports President Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Commander of the National Guard Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa and senior Breef officials.

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