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Vigevani triumphs in tense Abu Dhabi Festival Endurance Ride at Wathba

31/03/2018
12

A tense finish turned out to be on the cards in the Abu Dhabi Festival Endurance Ride at Al Wathba and Giulia Vigevani maintained her composure to rein in the tough FEI CEI 2* 120km event aboard Tudo Du Cambou. Riding for Al Jazeera 1 Stables, Italy’s Vigevani completed the four stage ride aboard her part- Arab 11yo horse with a time of 4 hours 19 minutes and 26 seconds to win a ride where the top three riders finished a second adrift of each other. Al Wathba Stables’ riders Mohammed Saleh Al Attas of the UAE and Hassan Juma Al Hamadi of the Comoros Islands placed second and third aboard HH Buraq and AP De La Muerte respectively. Vigevani started well and remained close to the summit for most of the ride.

But the jostle for position was continuous and you couldn’t afford a complacent approach at any point during the four loops, which saw the lead change hands as many times. Veronica Simula of Italy, riding Al Jazeera Stables 2’s RA Barbara snatched the early initiative at the Emirates International Endurance Village, with a ride time of 1:19:31 over the first 40km phase. Vigevani, at that point, was 3m 37s in arrears, in eighth place. Simula dropped out of contention during the 35km second phase handing over the lead to Comoros rider Hassan, who moved up from third, vacating the spot in turn for Vigevani who had increased her riding speed aboard Tudo Du Cambou. Vigevani was 25s off the pace at this stage, but so tight was the leaderboard that sixth placed rider India’s Arjun Singh found himself a mere 56s behind Hassan.

The 25km third phase saw another rider take charge in the form of Aude Brigitte Marie Touraine, who managed to take the summit from Hassan when riding her Al Jazeera Stables 2’s mount A R Colinchi. Despite the changes, Vigevani remained at third, but she was now just 17s behind. Vigevani and her Al Jazeera Stables 1’s team were calculative in the fourth and final stage over 20km and did just enough to secure the ride ahead of the Al Wathba Stables pair of Al Attas and Hassan. Two other CEN-certified 100km rides were held as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival for Ladies and Private Owners in which Alia Ahmad Al Saboori and Milena Mendez turned out winners.

Al Saboori led an Emirati top three finish in the Ladies event winning aboard MRM Stables’ Prince with a time of 3:23:15. Hanadi Hasan Al Menhali of Al Jazeera Stables 2 placed second aboard Radjah Al Tahouma with 3:23:16, while F3 Stables’ pair of Aya Abdul Reda Ishaq Ali and Voyou De Botrez were third, a further four seconds behind. The Private Owners’competition was won by Argentina’s Mendez, who completed the ride aboard Al Hosn Endurance Stables-owned Pandora TE in a time of 3:39:22. Fellow South American rider Maria Cecilia Sebben Perez of Uruguay finished second aboard Al Ain Endurance Stables’ Marito Black with a time of 3:39:30, while Emirati rider Ali Mubarak Salem was third aboard Ajayeb Endurance Stables-owned Benmaco De Saularie with a time of 3:41:36.

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