x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Al Baloushi leading the charge for the honours

The leading endurance trainer and rider will be chasing a third trophy for the Al Reef stables in the three-day Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Endurance Festival.

Yousef Ahmed al Baloushi, the leading endurance trainer and rider in the country, will be chasing a third trophy for the Al Reef stables in the three-day Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Endurance Festival.

The 240km CEI Three-Star race for the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Cup is the highlight of the festival that starts today at the Boutdhib Endurance Village in Al Khatem, a 60km drive from the capital city on the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain highway.

The main race will be spread over the three days of competition with the participants covering 80km each day.

The opening day will include a couple of qualifiers of the Emirates Equestrian Federation run over 40km and 80km.

The second day will see a 100km race for private owners and stables, and an 80km race for women. And the final day will consist of a 120km race for young riders with the grand finale of the three-day race.

"The three-day race is a unique addition in the domestic calendar," said al Baloushi, who trained the winners of this year's President's Cup and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, the two most prestigious endurance trophies in the country.

"This is the fifth year since this three-day race was introduced and all those taking part are quite familiar with the strategy in preserving their horses over three days unlike the 120km and 160km races."

Al Baloushi will be among the leading riders in the three-day festival along with his younger brother Sultan Ahmed, the winner of the President's Cup, and Omair Hussain al Baloushi, his cousin, who won the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Cup.

 

apassela@thenational.ae