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Riders set for endurance showdown

THE second of three rounds in the 2010 Giants Endurance Horseride Challenge takes place today at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The race, which is being sponsored by Unicorn Investment Bank, gets underway at 7am. It will flag off in the presence of Southern Governor Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The 120-kilometre event has been divided into five stages. The first and second stage will be 30km each, while the final three will be 20km apiece.

Many of Bahrain's top endurance riders will be taking part in the round, including Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Also saddling up for the hosts will be Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Abdulhaq Qadoori and Yousef Taher.

The Bahrainis will be looking to make an impact in today's ride following a disappointing performance in the first round in Abu Dhabi last month, when they all were forced to pull out in the middle of the race.

Meanwhile, leading riders from the UAE, Spain, Uruguay, India, Oman and Jordan will also be taking part.

Spearheading the Emirati contingent will be UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

All the participants yesterday made their final preparations for the event, including the final medical checks with the championship's official veterinarians on their horses.

The race will be televised live on Bahrain and Dubai sports channels, while updated results will be available on alfurrsan.com.

Following today's activities, the third and final round will be held in Dubai in the final week of this month. The points accumulated over the three rounds will decide the Challenge's overall champion.

Round one was won by Majed Al Jahouri of the UAE. He was followed by Federico Zubiaurre of Uruguay in second, while Ahmed bin Harmash of the UAE finished third.



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