EMIRATI WOMAN rider Layla Abdulaziz Al Redha hogged the limelight at Al Wathba last week winning two of the three events that were part of the Abu Dhabi Endurance Festival. Riding for Al Wathba Stables, Al Redha won the Open competition which was a brilliant way to follow up on her victory in the Private Stables ride for Al Enjaz Stables. Al Redha rode EO Raghd during the CEN 120km Open competition completing the ride in a time of 4 hours 11 minutes and 28 seconds and at an average speed of 28.63kph. Al Redha dominated the ride from start to finish and led home an Emirati top three in the event with Afnan Ibrahim Moosa, riding Al Maghaweer Stables’ Potoriah taking second with a time of 4:13:56.
In third place with a time of 4:16:08 was Moosa’s teammate Eissa Radhawan Saleh Al Ghailani on Uzy Jet De Luzy. While Afnan was second all along from start to finish, Al Ghailani worked his way up from 15th to 12th to tenth before finishing off at third. The CEN 100km Private Owners event was two days prior and saw Al Redha snatch victory for Enjaz Private Stables on the back of Maver Mistral, who she brought home in 3:30:07 having climbed up the rung consistently from sixth to fifth to fourth and snatching victory over the final loop from Veronica Simula, who placed eighth after leading the second and third loop. Syrian rider Masa Adnan Tonbakji, who also rode for Enjaz Private Stables, took second on the back of Mistico X R with a time of 3:30:14 after losing her way briefly following a good start, while third place was claimed by Catalina Bastons of Argentina.
Bastons riding Zabeel Stables’ Chayane Teoulere placed third with a time of 3:30:51. Bastons found her dose of luck during the Women’s Ride that was held the following day. Riding Gacela 50, owned by F3 1 Stables, the Argentine clocked the best time of 3:21:00 that was 13s quicker than Al Redha who would have otherwise made it three in three at the festival. Al Redha rode Al Wathba Stables’ Cashmir Essalem over the four loops in a time of 3:21:13 with a second Emirati rider in Moosa taking third when on the back of Al Maghaweer Stable 3’s Baraka Elegido. The third placed pair were clocked at 3:22:41. It was anything but straightforward for Bastons who placed second behind France’s Camille Coulomb at the end of the first loop. Coulomb sat aboard Aotrou El Quibi of F3 Stables but failed to hold on to her lead during the second loop allowing Bastons to take over.
Bastons too found the going tough and with pressure mounting from a fast catching up Al Redha surrendered the initiative to the Emirati rider during the course of the third loop. Bastons slipped to fourth at the end of the third with Moosa climbing up to second from sixth and another Emirati rider in Maitha Obaid Saeed Al Kaabi moving into third on the back of Seeh Al Salam 2 Stables’ SM Polzha. Dropping after lowering her riding speed during the penultimate loop turned out to be a strategic move on the part of Bastons who was able to rev it up aboard Gacela 50 during the final loop. Bastons asked Gacela 50 to step up her running and go nearly 10kph faster and the 9yo obliged by running in 13s ahead of the second placed pair of Al Redha and Cashmir Essalem. One of the last events on the annual endurance riding calendar, the CEN 119km Endurance Trainers Cup was held at Dubai International Endurance City and was won by Saeed Salem Al Muhairi, who cleverly worked his way to the top on the back of SS Stables’ Awasif. Following Al Muhairi on to the podium were his two Emirati compatriots Ahmad Saleh Al Shehhi on Al Bawadi Stables’ Arizona De Sau and Helal Saeed Al Mansouri on Seeh Al Salam Endurance Stables’ Castlebar Morasca.