Teenage Sensation Hamdan Al Marri wins 2017 Gamilati Endurance Cup Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors

 February 23, 2017, Dubai - Hamdan Ahmad Al Marri and his mare, Raya emerged the winners of the sixth Gamilati Endurance Cup for Mares sponsored by Al Tayer Motors today, a 119km ride held at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City.

The 17 year old, who has been riding since the age of six, was first congratulated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai following his victory which stopped the clock in 4:23.45.

Speaking after the win Al Marri said “This is a very special win for me, I have been training very hard, and have waited a whole year for this race. My horse is a strong horse and credit must go to her as well, I have been riding with her for a year now and she has done a really good job.

“I am glad I won this race, I have had very good support from my whole team, now I am looking ahead to the His Highness Crown Prince Endurance Cup and I really hope I can perform at a high level there too.”

The first group of competitors embarked upon the 119 km, 4 loop course at 7am, and leading the pack at the end of the first loop, which was 39 kms long, was local rider Ghaith Abdul Wahid Khamis Rubaiya aboard Buhoor. The winner, Al Marri chose to start slow, and was fifth at this stage.

But in the three following loops, which were 32km, 30km and 18km respectively, it was the pairing of Al Marri and the 10 year old grey, Raya, who held on to a winning lead with an average speed of just over 27 kms per hour. This is the second career win for the rider and a first for the mare, who is owned by Hamdan Saeed Jabber and trained by Rashid bin Shafya.

In second place was Spanish female rider Naroa Calvo Ibanez aboard the nine year old Shagaf from the M7 Stables trained by Abdullah Al Subose. Ibanez and Shagaf fluctuated, holding fourth through the first loop, dropping to eleventh in the second, going on to catch up with the leader in the final two loops and maintaining second place in both.

Coming in a couple of minutes behind the Spanish rider was UAE’s Salem Hamad Al Kitbi, aboard Al Teheebah, also from the M7 Stables and prepared by Al Subose.

A total of 122 runners started the sixth running of the prestigious Gamilati Endurance Cup, which was first run in 2012, and named by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum after the Godolphin-trained flat race mare, Gamilati, who claimed the 2012 UAE 1,000 Guineas and UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial at Meydan Racecourse.

The next big event on the endurance calendar is the HH Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival which is scheduled to take place between March 13-18 at the DIEC.  Three main rides feature in the festival including a 90km ride especially for women riders, a 100km ride catering to local private stables and individual riders, and the finale, which is the CEI** 120km ride on March 18 where some key players in the international endurance racing scene are expected to participate.

About Endurance Riding

Endurance riding requires the rider and horse to work in perfect harmony as a combination. They must manage pace to complete extreme distances in the shortest riding time while passing stringent veterinary examinations that ensure the horse is fit to continue. The event is divided into multiple stages.

After the completion of each stage, the horses are rested and refreshed and undergo a veterinary exam to determine if they meet the physical standards to continue to the next stage. The horse that finishes first, as well as all finishers, must successfully complete a post-race veterinary exam to determine they did meet the physical parameters set forth by the sport rules. It is only after the final veterinary exam that the official order of finish is determined and announced.  

About DEC

As part of the Meydan Group, the DEC serves to organise and host quality equestrian sports for the people of Dubai and the UAE in the disciplines of Endurance, Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing. The DEC also supports international equestrian sports around the world. The DEC organises and promotes the sport of Endurance and all competitions held at Dubai International Endurance City. They also assist in the coordination and support of select international events. Through their subsidiary, the Emirates Equestrian Centre, competitions in the disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing are held, and riding lessons and training in equestrian sports are also offered.

 Caption Photo 1
Hamdan Ahmad Al Marri and his mare, Raya  win the sixth Gamilati Endurance Cup at Dubai International Endurance City, February 23, 2017 (Photo credit : Dubai Racing Club// Morhaf Al Assaf)

Caption Photo 2
Hamdan Al Marri, Naroa Calvo Ibanez and Salem Hamad Al Kitbi celebrate after finishing in first second and third position at the 2017 Gamilati Endurance Cup (Photo credit : Dubai Racing Club// Morhaf Al Assaf )