Dubai: With a little luck and a well planned strategy, Saeed Mohammad Khalifa Al Mehairi rode to victory in the CEI** 120km Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup at the Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Al Salam on Saturday.
Representing the powerful MRM Stables, Al Mehairi made steady progress through the first three loops to secure the lead in the final stage and hold on for a narrow win over Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad Belqaizi from the Fazza 3 Endurance Team Stables.
Only one second separated the first two home, while Shaikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum finished strongly from eight place to finish third.
Al Mehairi crossed the finish aboard Kedjari Des Serres in a time of 4 hours, 23 minutes and 7 seconds, with Belqaizi close behind in 4:23.8s.
Fourth place went to Mansour Saeed Mohammad Al Faresi on Norwest, trained by Esmail Mohammad for the MRM Stables, and finishing fifth was Saeed Abdullah Bin Huzaim on Quick Star Du Real for Emaar Endurance Stables.
Al Mehairi said he owed his success to the advice he received from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to whom he dedicated the victory.
“I’m very happy that our stables won the first and third places,” he said. “It was a very challenging ride as the conditions were very difficult.
“By the time we began the third loop the temperature was high and the course was dusty. It was not easy after that, but I am very delighted with this result in such a prestigious event as the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance cup.”
Sponsored by Emirates Airline and organised by Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC), the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup was the pinnacle of the three-day Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival, and was attended by Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The event brought to close the prestigious Festival that consisted of four events held over three days from March 20 to 22.
The competitions included the Dubai Crown Prince Ride for Ladies, a 90km event on Thursday, two-rides on Friday, the CEI * 80km Dubai Crown Prince Ride and the CEN 100km Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Ride.
Saturday’s finale, the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup featured four loops of 40km, 30km, 30km and 20km and was contested by 115 riders.
Al Mehairi was 33rd after the initial loop and moved up to a well-placed ninth after the second loop.
He charged to complete the third loop in second place and began the final stage almost a full minute behind the leader Saif Ahmad Al Mozroui.
Al Mehairi was also a member of the UAE Team that won the 120km Cross Country Endurance Cup held in Sardinia, Italy last year.