ARGENTINIAN RIDER Delfina Maria Gauthier showed great resolve in nailing success in the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Festival’s Ladies Ride at Dubai International Endurance City last week. Riding M7-1 Stables’ Mohammed Ahmed Al Subose-trained Zaizoom, Gauthier completed the 120km four phase ride in four hours, ten minutes and 23 seconds.
It was a keenly contested run with Gauthier leading in a top five that finished inside a minute of the time she clocked. Gauthier and Zaizoom went about their business at an average speed of 28.76kph. And it was Gauthier that shone most as she delivered a stunning ride aboard her gelded 13yo partner over the final loop to win the ride after finding herself eighth at the end of the third loop.
The pair began the day with the ninth best time as Frenchwoman Camille Coulomb set the pace on the back of Seeh Al Salam’s Dakam Des Sources during the course of the opening loop spanning 40km. The dynamic changed as Emirati rider Buthaina Al Redha seized the initiative for F3 Stables on the back of Castlebar Topgear during the 35km second loop, which saw Gauthier move up a spot and into eighth.
Al Redha managed to hold on to the lead at the end of the third loop over 25km as well, but she failed to complete the ride as her mount was disqualified. The 11yo gelding was deemed to have returned at the end of the final loop with an irregular gait, which is enough to disqualify a pair.
Unbeknownst to the rest of the competitors, who continued to fight to post the lowest time, eighth placed Gauthier increased her tempo by almost 8kph and with Zaizoom having plenty left in the tank, the pair breezed to take the top spot, a mere :11s ahead of second placed F3 Stables’ pair of Emirati rider Maitha Mohammed Al Qubaisi and her mount Aribi, who clocked 4:10:34.
Al Qubaisi made a massive leap up the rankings after starting the day in 39th. She moved to 19th and was fifth going into the final 20km loop. A further :2s back in third was M7 Endurance Stables’ pair of Eulalia Gonzalez Guardia and Bullio Solute, who clocked 4:10:36.