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Riders pass French test

BAHRAINI riders Yousef Taher, Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa and Khalid Al Ruwaihi made a successful appearance at the Plesidy Endurance Race in France.

Being among 35 top class riders from France and the UK, the Bahraini trio managed to complete the race which was over 130 kms with Taher finishing ninth overall, Shaikh Daij 10th and Al Ruwaihi 11th.

Raed Mahmood and world junior champion Fahad Ismail, were unable to complete the race with both riders forced to withdraw with one stage remaining.

Team manager Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan said the race was part of their preparations for the upcoming World Championship which takes place in Germany on August 24.

The event comprised four stages with the first stage covering 32 kms, 33 kms for the second, 40 kms for the third and 25 kms for the fourth.

Hassan confirmed that the Bahraini riders were not aiming to win a place on the podium and their strategy was to keep a limited speed in each stage to maintain the health condition of their horses and pass the veterinary examination.

"The team produced good performance at the race and their French coach Ivon was concentrating on the physical and psychological preparation of his riders," said Hassan.

Standard

Commenting on the standard of the race, Hassan said it featured gruelling competition specially in the third stage during which many riders, including Mahmood and Ismail, were unable to continue due to the rough turf conditions.

"This race was the first for our riders since the season was over two months ago. So we are quite satisfied with the individual results, taking into consideration the level of the other riders who were in the fray," added Hassan.

"We decided to participate in this event as the race course here is very much similar to the course in Aachen in Germany which will host the world championship." Hassan confirmed that the team will continue their preparations for the Germany event by taking part in other races in the next two months under the captaincy of Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.



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