SHAIKH Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa of Al Talia Stable and Abdulla Al Khatiri of Al Showamek Stable clinched the 100-km senior and junior races respectively in the Season Opening Endurance Championship, organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef), yesterday at the Endurance Village premises in Sakhir.
Riding Chesterfield, Al Talia Stable captain Shaikh Faisal, who is also the Breef endurance committee head, proved too good in the Al Khaldiah Stable-sponsored event to finish first among 36 riders in five hours, 13 minutes and 40 seconds.
The race was divided into four stages with 30 kms each for the first two stages, 25 kms for the third and 15 kms for the fourth.
The battle for the senior race and the main prizemoney of BD1,000 was very close as Jabur Al Dossary, also of Al Talia Stable and on Lorraine, was pipped to second place by just three seconds.
Yousef Taher (5:26:12) of the Royal Endurance Team on Jamil finished third and was followed by French rider Jean Marie Oliver (5:45:24) of the Royal Endurance Team.
In the junior section, Al Asayel Stable's rider Abdulla, on Nakeer, bagged the biggest prize of BD700 beating 17 entrants in five hours, 32 minutes and 55 seconds.
Behind him was Mohammed Al Thawadi (5:38:04), on Fasheera, of Al Asayel Stable in second place. Third was Ahmed Abdulaziz (6:10:24), on Saham, of Al Salam Riding School while Royal Endurance Team's Mohammed Abdulaziz (5:38:04) came fourth on Muniki.
Breef acting president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who took part in the senior race, was forced to quit during the third stage following an injury to his horse Tawmarsh Tamrisk.
Two qualifying races, over 85 kms and 60 kms, were also held with 10 riders taking part in each event as part of a warmup for the forthcoming season.
Shaikh Khalid honoured the winners of the seniors race while General Organisation for Youth and Sports president Shaikh Fawaz bin Hamad Al Khalifa presented the awards to the junior race winners at the awarding ceremony in presence of Breef members and other officials.
Meanwhile, the remaining local endurance races will be taking place after the World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in the Kingdom from December 15 to 18.