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Daiana Chops down the opposition to win National Day Cup for the ladies

07/12/2017
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Girl power reigned supreme during the National Day Cup ride in Al Wathba last week with Daiana Yamila Chopita denying a number of top male riders to win the prized trophy in style. The Argentine won in front of a royal audience, including HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and HH Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.

The race was held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and was organised by the Emirates International Endurance Village, in cooperation with the Emirates Equestrian Federation. The CEN 120km ride had been broken down into four loops of 40, 35, 25 and 20km each and Chopita turned in a classy performance that saw her win quite comfortably on the back of the 12yo gelding Tehama Souveign.

Riding at an average speed of 28kph, the pair completed the ride in 4 hours, 16 minutes and 57 seconds, a sound 43 seconds ahead of Emirati rider Mansour Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi, who clocked 4:17:40s while aboard Rakib Nikita. In third place, nearly five and a half minutes adrift, was another Emirati rider, Hamad Obaid Rashed Al Kaabi, who clocked 4:23:14s aboard Unzo. Al Kaabi’s UAE compatriots Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi and Salem Hamad Saeed Al Kitbi finished fourth and fifth respectively. While the Emirati riders did well to work their way up the rung, the day clearly belonged to Argentina’s Chopita who placed third behind the UAE’s Ali Mohammed Ali Al Hosani and India’s Samundra Singh at the end of the first phase, then moved into the lead at the end of the second and remained at the summit until the finish.

Second placed Al Faresi had moved up consistently from 27th to 14th but was placed seventh going into the final 20km loop and found himself nearly nine minutes off the pace set by Al Wathba Stables’ rider Chopita. MRM Stables’ rider Al Faresi pushed hard aboard Rakib Nikita, increasing the pair’s average speed by over 9kph to 34.5kph in the final loop, but it was a brave effort that came a little too late as Chopita had done enough to secure the title. For his part, Al Kaabi, also riding for MRM Stables, moved from 24th to 23rd and was ninth heading into the final loop, but could only manage third in the end.

Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, president of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, said: “This is a very important occasion for everyone. The trainers, riders, support staff and spectators have shown great enthusiasm towards the event and we thank them all for their valuable contribution to the success of the race. “We have seen some of the best riders and horses compete in the event because we want to focus on quality and not just quantity.”

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