AN AGGRESSIVE approach helped Tahera Ibrahim Shahdadi land the Commemoration Day Cup for Al Kamda Endurance Stables at Dubai International Endurance City. Riding the Pio Juan Amaya-trained 8yo bay gelding Bogador De Piboul at an average speed of 27.18kph, Shahdadi completed the 119km ride in a time of 4 hours 22 minutes and 44 seconds to lead an Emirati romp on the podium with Saif Ahmed Mohammed Al Mazrouei and Saif Juma Mohammed Beljafla finishing second and third respectively. Al Mazrouei’s time aboard the SS Stables’ owned and Ali Sultan Al Suboosi-trained Samed was 4:25.34, while his teammate Beljafla completed the ride on Mekhlab in a time of 4:25.59. Shahdadi has been riding since 2016 and Bogador De Piboul turned out to be her first winner. And what a race it was to win. “I am absolutely thrilled to have won this race. I have been riding for the past three years now and this feeling of winning is just great,” she said.
“It’s an important race to win and the competition was hard because we had a very tough field but then my horse was really good too and we came through successfully in the end.” Shahdadi didn’t waste time asserting herself and was placed second behind Ghaith Abdul Wahid Saqer after the first phase over 40km. She had less than a minute of a deficit to overcome and snatched top position from the SS Stables rider over the course of the second phase over 35km. Shahdadi led by a mere seven seconds going into the third phase over 26km but Saqer increased his pace and regained the lead, with Ahmed Salah Abdulla Ameen of Ekhal Private Stables stepping into second. Shahdadi entered the last 18km phase 35secs behind leader Saqer, but there was plenty more she could dig into and fired up Bogador De Piboul sufficiently for him to leapfrog the pair in front of him and win by nearly three minutes. Second placed Al Mazrouei dropped from tenth after the first phase and was 11th over the next two phases, stepping up his act several notches for his runner-up finish.
Beljafla, who was third, went from 14th to ninth to seventh over the course of the first three stages. Saqer, aboard Hattan, settled in at fourth with a time of 4:25.59, while Amy Louise McAuley, riding Zabeel Stables’ Tiam, took fifth with a time of 4:27.53. Mohammed Issa Al Adhab, the General Manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, gave away the prizes during the presentation ceremony. Speaking later, Al Adhab said: “This Commemoration Day Cup was held in honour of the UAE’s martyrs, those that laid down their lives and went down in history to defend our country and we honour those that sacrifice their lives through this event. “Our races are organised under the guidance and leadership of our country’s leaders, who are always keen to enhance the growth of equestrian sport throughout the country.” Al Adhab said the stables involved fought hard and the victory gained by Al Kamda Endurance Stables was a result of solid preparation and some superb riding from winner Shahdadi. “It was tight throughout and you could tell that all of the stables and riders involved were not giving anything away. The pace was good as well because the climate helped riders ride at higher speeds especially in the early stages,” Al Adhab said. “The race went without any incident and the safety of the horses is of paramount importance to us and for that we have to praise the work put in by the organising committee at DIEC who make sure every time that all goes according to plan.”