UAE rider Saif Ahmed Al Mazroui claimed top spot in the Royal Windsor Endurance ride on Friday when his 12 year-old gelding, Ramaah was the runaway winner of the CEI2* event over 120km of Windsor Great Park in England.
Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum was third on 2012 World Champion horse, Intisaar.
Both horses were prepared by dual code-trainer, Mohammed Ismael, with Ramaah coming back into full health having been unable to race during the UAE winter season following a set back.
The ride, which is part of the five-day Royal Windsor Horse Show in England, was held at Windsor Great Park and proved a truly Royal affair with members of the ruling families of Dubai, Great Britain and Bahrain in attendance.
The ride was contested over four loops of 33.5km, 33km, 28km and 25.5km.
Eight riders represented the UAE on the day, including Sheikh Rashid Dalmook, his brother, Sheikh Hamad Dalmook Al Maktoum, Sultan Shames Saeed Al Maamri, Mohammed Khalifa Saeed Al Mehairi and Ahmed Jaber Saeed Al Habri also flew the flag. Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri, who claimed the 2012 HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup at the age of 17, Al Mazroui and Said Salim Al Owaisi completed the eight.
The ride’s early leader was Bahrain rider, Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Hasan and Meziane De Candlon who entered the vet gate 1.18min ahead of Sheikh Rashid Dalmook, who was riding 2012 World Champion horse, Intisaar.
The second loop saw the UAE contingent overhaul their Bahraini opponents and Sheikh Rashid Dalmook entered the vet gate 11 seconds ahead of his brother, Sheikh Hamad. Eventual winner, the UAE’s Al Mazroui, was following closely in third.
Sheikh Rashid Dalmook and Intisaar maintained their lead during the third loop but it was the fourth loop that proved decisive. Al Mazroui and Ramaah turned the tables, coming home in a time of 4:41.27, a whopping 5.39min ahead runner-up, Bahrain’s Abdulsamad. Sheikh Rashid Dalmook was a closing third 0.1secs behind in third.
Winning trainer, Ismael Mohammed, who also conditioned supermare, Yamamah to victory here in 2014 for Sheikh Hamdan was delighted to have saddled the first and third-placed horses.
“This is an excellent start to the summer European season,” he said. “Believe me we came here with our good horses because we were hoping for this result. I have to admit that it was a little bit of a surprise that Ramaah won this. He is a good horse and was a four-time winner two years ago, but he had some problems and this is his first race back.”
Mohammed said he briefed his riders to take care on the heavy ground.
“I told them not to go off too fast,” he said. “The Bahrainis started very quickly but we were happy to let them go and build throughout the ride.”
The prize giving for the Royal Windsor Endurance ride will take place on Saturday in the main arena in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
See final results here.