THE FEATURE event of the HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Festival developed into a sort of match race between two riderhorse pairings with India’s Bhawani Singh and Prince Kadeem SPA finding only just enough to overcome the challenge of Emirati rider Rashed Ahmed Al Bloushi who rode El-Jellabi Jibhar.
The event at Bouthib witnessed Singh and his 10yo Anglo Arab partner Prince Kadeem SPA go about their business at an average speed of 20.6kph and clock seven hours 34 minutes and 54 seconds during the course of the CEI2* ride over 155km that had been broken down into six loops.
Al Bloushi and his 11yo Purebred Arabian partner El-Jellabi Jibhar, representing Nad Al Sheba Stables, were a further :15 back in 7:35:09, while rounding up the podium spots were Frenchwoman Camille Coulomb and the Al Nasr-2 Endurance Stablesowned ASG Puesto, who completed the ride in 7:42:14. Singh and Al Bloushi traded blows among themselves all along but it was the latter who seized the initiative after the first loop, which he completed in 1:07:11.
Singh was second and trailed by 1:48. Still upping his speed marginally over the second loop allowed the Indian rider to take over the summit and post a narrow :10 lead. Al Bloushi was back in business immediately and regained the lead during the third loop and held on over the fourth.
However, Singh was not about to throw in the towel and hit back to claim the lead for the second time at the end of the fifth loop. Five seconds separated him from Al Bloushi with one loop left to be contested and with plenty left in the tank of Prince Kadeem SPA he was able to do just enough to stretch that advantage to :15 at the finish. Coulomb did well to battle to third after dropping from sixth to ninth over the second loop.
Thereafter, it was pretty straightforward for the French rider, who assured herself of third with one of the quicker times of the final loop. The Ladies Ride over 100km held a day earlier saw Veronica Simula of Italy clinch success on the back of Al Reef Stables’ Fa’Nardi Kabiir with a time of 4:27:00. A further 2:24 back was the UAE’s Fatma Mohammed Abbas on Al Aasfa 3 Endurance Stables’ Wirima El Azrak.
Her timing of 4:29:24 was :13 faster than Comoros rider Nesreen Khasro Ali who took third on Seeh Al Salam’s Cabalistik Larzac.. Another Indian rider in Indar Singh found success in the CEI1* 100km ride that was held as part of the festival. Riding Royal Endurance Team of Bahrain’s Villaperuccio, Indar completed the four-loop ride in a time of 6:36:23, with teammate Yemen’s Abdul Hameed Al Abi a second behind on Diplomate D Alotz. A further 3:49 back in third were Al Aasfa 2’s Jogendra Singh and his mount Muzahim.