Rider Salem Saeed Al Muhairi struck first blood as the 2019/20 UAE endurance season kicked off with the CEN 100km Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners event at Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi. Riding 10yo bay gelding Cazon Kaiser, Al Muhairi scored for SS Stables winning the four loop event with a time of 3 hours 47 minutes and 6 seconds. Well behind in second place with a time of 3:56:28 was Hari Singh riding Gazal Ballada for Ali Nasser Al Yabhouni, while third spot on the podium was secured by Nahyan Saeed Al Houqani, who completed the course in 3:57:46 aboard Bin Ham Endurance Stables-owned Bashrah De Piquetuile. Enjaz Private Stables’ rider Sultan Aref Mohsen seized the initiative at the end of the first phase over 40km aboard Chupacabras, with Al Muhairi back in third following his second placed Emirati compatriot Mohammed Juma Alameemi, who rode Ibatia De La Pomme for Al Mugheer Private Stables.
Al Muhairi increased his speed over the 25km second loop and went straight to the top as the rest faltered. Mohsen had dropped to fifth, behind three other Emirati riders. A tactical bid in the 19km third phase allowed Tahera Ibrahim Shahdadi aboard Al Kamda Endurance Stables’ Sabab to take over the leaderboard, but Al Muhairi remained well within striking distance and he pulled out all the stops in the final 16km loop allowing Cazon Kaiser to gallop freely and secure what was a well deserved victory. Second placed Singh did well to work his way up to second. He was 16th after the first loop, moved up two spots during the course of the second phase and then climbed up further, starting the final phase at eighth.
Al Houqani, who took third, was placed ninth at the end of the first two loops and then moved up to fifth from where he was able to steal the final spot on the podium. In fourth place was Argentina’s Micaela Paroldi, who rode Bin Ham Endurance Stables’ HM Pretty to the finish in 4:00:07, while Emirati rider Salem Hamad Al Kitbi took fifth on Mas Endurance Stables’ LM Marshall with a time of 4:04:04.