MOHAMMED Hilal Al Khatri of Al Asayel Stable won the End-of-Season Endurance Ride Championship early yesterday morning at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.
Al Khatri, riding Al Andell Muscat, overcame a poor start to clinch the 100-kilometre event in a total ride time of four hours 20 minutes and four seconds.
The race was organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef), and it was held under the patronage of Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first vice-chairman and Breef president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Shaikh Khalid was in attendance during the event's final moments and he later presented the top three finishers their respective trophies.
The ride's complete distance was divided into four stages, with the first two legs covering 30 kilometres apiece, followed by a 25-km third leg and a 15-km final stage.
Al Khatri had a relatively slow start to his campaign as he found himself in 14th position after the opening leg. But he battled his way into the top six after the second stage and was in contention in fifth after the third, from where he raced to the front for a strong finish during which he registered an average pace of 23.07kph.
Al Khatri built a comfortable two-minute gap ahead of his closest rival in the end. Nezar Hassan Mohammed of Hawar Stable, riding Tirroan, finished as the runner-up with a total ride time of 4:22:43.
Mohammed had a consistent showing in the event, never moving out of the top since the start.
Saud Fawzi Al Doseri of Al Shawamek Stable, saddled on Dum Dum, came in third place with a total ride time of 4:26:42. Al Doseri was the leader after the penultimate stage, but he could not hold on to his lead at the end.
Khalifa Saad Sharida Mubarak of Al Asayel riding GE Lady finished fourth in 4:28:50; teammate Bader Ateeq Edham on Al Jared was fifth in 4:29:29; while Abdulla Yusuf Al Qasimi of Al Magawir Stable and riding Jellaby Kafour came sixth in 4:29:44.
The championship's early leader, Raed Mahmood of Al Shawamek, could not claim a place among the event's top finishers. After taking the lead at the end of the first two stages, Mahmood dropped to fourth after stage three and was not classified in the final rankings.