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Emirati rider Faresi secures long awaited win

posted on 30/09/2014: 1952 views



Samorin — Emirati rider Mansour Saeed Al Faresi clinched the first and biggest win of his career when he won the HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival-sponsored by FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses 2014 at Samorin, Slovakia, on Saturday.

Riding the Esmail Mohammed-trained Tiswan Fageole, Faresi completed the challenging 120km course in a time of five hours, 47 minutes and 29 seconds as French riders filled the second, third and fourth places on a day of mixed fortune for U.A.E. riders.

Sheikh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum was the first rider to cross the finish line but his horse Normandy went lame and was disqualified.

The U.A.E. endurance team had other reasons to be happy as Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi made history when she secured a praiseworthy fifth place among a strong field of 43 riders representing 15 countries. The talented rider from Al Ain also wrote a new chapter by becoming the first Emirati lady rider to compete in a World Championship event.

Al Suwaidi, who won the HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival's HH Sheikha Fatima Cup for ladies in Verona, Italy in July, completed the course aboard Ainhoa Tidjour in a time of 05:58:46s.

Frenchman Jean Philippe Frances (Tinka La Majorie) was promoted to second place following the disqualification of Sheikh Ahmed's horse, with a time of 05:50.31s, while compatriots Aurelie Cambe (Tismael De Vayrols) took third place in 05:54:40s and Emilie Lambert (Baghdad Font Noire) fourth place in 05:58:45s.

Only 21 riders from a start list of 43 completed the CEI 4 event held over five loops of 30, 20, 25, 25 and 20 kilometres each.

"I have never won or competed in anything as big as this event,” 20-year-old Faresi said. "This is the happiest moment of my life and I would like to dedicate this victory to President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the U.A.E. people.

"It is a very disappointing that Sheikh Hamed Dalmook's horse did not pass the final VET gate, but I'm still proud to have secured victory for the U.A.E.. I've waited a long time for this and it is a fantastic feeling to win the first ever ride in Slovakia. I have been competing in many big rides but I've not been lucky. I thought I can achieve something good after I finished fourth in the prestigious 160km CEI 3 President Cup at Al Wathba. And it happened today. I feel so blessed.”

Faresi said that he got his winning formula from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai.

"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed advised us to go into the lead earlier in order to make the other riders push their horses in an attempt to keep pace with us,” he said. "His Highness also told us to settle out horses during the middle loops so as to conserve their energy for the final loop where we stepped up the pace and pulled away to win comfortably.”

Faresi was also full of praise for World Equestrian Games gold medal winning trainer Esmail Mohammed who had prepared Tiswan Fageole in top condition for the ride.

The FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses 2014 brought together riders from the U.A.E., Argentina, France, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The event also enjoyed a fifty percent completion with 21 horses checking in at the final VET gate and delighted FEI Endurance Director Ian Williams who described the historic first World Championship event in Slovakia as a ‘big success.'

"We could not happier with the quality of completion and high rate of finishers,” he said.

Williams always conveyed the best wishes of FEI President Princess Haya bint Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, to all the riders who participated. "Safety is always of great importance to the FEI and Her Highness Princess Haya, and she sends her congratulations to the winners and all those riders who participated here,” he added.

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of the IFAHR Ladies Committee, thanked Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, for his continuous support. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/horseracing/2014/September/horseracing_September9.xml§ion=horseracing

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