IRISH RIDER Amy Louise McAuley is looking forward to a better run of luck during the 2018/19 UAE endurance season after riding a winner for F3 Stables in the CEN100km Seeh Al Salaam Endurance Challenge ride at Dubai International Endurance Centre (DIEC) last week. McAuley, who won the CEN 100km Dubai Crown Prince Ride for Ladies in March, was peerless on the back of Utoufa De Lap, a 10yo grey owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s F3 Stables, aboard whom she had placed second in the CEN 100km Baraqat Al Lian Endurance Ride for Ladies, which was also held in March.
During the three phase ride at DIEC last week, the pair took the lead at the end of the first phase spanning 40km and held on until the end, winning quite comfortably after posting a time of 3 hours 26 minutes and 2 seconds. McAuley was so dominant that she finished a good minute and ten seconds ahead of Al Wathba Stables' rider Rashed Hamoud Humaid Al Junaibi, who clocked 3:27:12 aboard Eo Raghd. In third place, with a time of 3:27:25, was MRM Stables' rider Mansour Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi aboard Magic Glenn Tayla.
McAuley was confident riding a horse she had ridden before and it showed all the way from the start as she led by 13 seconds at the end of the first phase from M7's Rashed Theyab Al Mazrooei, and then increased her speed over the second phase, which also encompassed 40km. Al Faresi climbed into second place from fifth going into the third and final phase over 20km but McAuley had built up a healthy lead of nearly five minutes. The final phase turned out to be a battle for second place, with McAuley cooling off a bit and Al Junaibi fighting Al Faresi to take over as the runner-up.
McAuley was thrilled to have put one over her male rivals and said: “She was running well so we knew we could push for a good result and in the end I am so happy to have won it. “I think the second loop was the hardest because you really have to be able to read the race in the second when there’s only three loops; it becomes very important to get it right there because that determines how you are going to do. “This is my second win in the UAE. I came second on her last season in a ladies’ race but she has improved a lot since then. She’s a fantastic horse and she really enjoyed the day, despite it being quite hot. She was very happy.” McAuley’s interest in endurance was kindled after a move to the UAE, where her father Paul worked as general manager of the Emirates Equestrian Centre.
“My dad Paul taught me showjumping and before I moved to Dubai I didn’t even know what endurance was. When I came here, Ali Marzouqi took me under his wing and taught me; it’s been nine years since I’ve been riding in endurance events and I’m loving it,” McAuley revealed. “Showjumping was just more of a hobby, but endurance riding is my passion and when I was into it I started to feel it. I would love to ride for my country someday but it’s a lot bigger here than in Ireland, so I have more opportunities here than there so I am very lucky to have these rides come my way.” Two other endurance events were held in the UAE last weekend, both won by rider and horse pairs representing Al Kamda Endurance Stables.
While Rashed Saeed Al Kamda won the CEN 100km Al Wasl Endurance Cup at DIEC, Layla Mohammed Obaid Al Marzooqi clinched the Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners honours at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi. Layla turned up with a consistent ride aboard Ratonera LP to win the CEN 100km event with a time of 4:07:08 for Al Kamda ES, which also saw Uruguay’s Jonathan Lopez partner HM Esperado to second spot with a time of 4:26:45. Indian rider Narayan Singh was third aboard Al Ain Endurance Stables’ La Uno with a timing of 4:27:06. Rashed won the DIEC event aboard HM Fatk Tre with a time of 3:35:54, with Khalid Jumaa Salem Al Khatri of Mas Endurance Stables taking second with Pruno Di Chia in a time of 3:37:51. In third place was Humaid Matar Rashed Al Mazrooei atop SS Stables’ Hattan.