Competitors from the UAE were the dominators of the FEI Longines World Endurance Championships held at Euston Park, Suffolk last Sunday (August 26, 2012), taking the gold medal for team and three individual medals.
The individual title was claimed by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Madji du Pont, with the average speed of 22.82 km/h.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, gold placer at individual World Endurance Championships, Euston Park. Photo: ryanseacrest.com
Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum won the silver medal position with Yamamah, while Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri garnered individual bronze with Vendeval.
Team UAE completed full 2 hours ahead of France, the team silver medalists. Oman placed third.
There were 147 horse and rider tandems in total coming from 38 countries that joined the said competition, and the event was held over the 160-km course on the estate of the Duke of Grafton. The testing course was composed of the surrounding farmland, grassland, and forest tracks.
Maria Alvarez Ponton from Spain was also attempting to match the record for winning consecutive world titles, which is set by Becky Hart of America. Maria Alvarez Ponton was riding Nobby, the legendary horse that had claimed two World Championships and one European Championship. Nobby, the veteran is believed to be now 17 years old. However, this popular duo had to be placed fourth.
A powerful thunderstorm had struck that early evening of the event and some of the slower pairs were still riding the course. This forced the organizers to cut down the course distance, allowing the riders to complete the race at the penultimate vet gate.