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Shaikha Najla claims third spot in Dubai endurance

SHAIKHA Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa finished third in the 90km Majid bin Mohmmed's Ladies Endurance Challenge race held at the Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Al Salam.

Riding Emirates Stables' Magic Glen Harpoon, the Bahraini rider completed this challenging annual event with a total ride time of three hours, three minutes and 26 seconds.

The ride was held at a distance of 100km, which was devoted to the stables and private subscription of singles.

It was divided into three stages, first yellow flags for a distance of 40 km, the second phase red flags for a distance of 40km, and the third and final phase of white flags for a distance of 20km.

Shaikha Futtaim, daughter of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, secured victory for the second time, riding Nad Al Sheba's Linon and registering 3.03.15.

Afra Khalifa Al Suwidi came in second place, riding Nad Al Sheba's Spectacular Goldie with a total ride time of 3.03.15.

Commenting after the ride, Shaikha Najla expressed satisfaction in obtaining the third place, for the second time this season, saying she was always looking for the lead, but third place is a good thing.

Difficult

Najla said that the race was difficult in light of the strong competition from some of the best riders, noting horse Magic is no stranger and had participated for the third time with Magic. She further thanked her coach Khalid Al Shafaar.

The race was attended by Shaikh Mohammed, along with Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Saeed Maktoum Al Maktoum, senior officials and horse race enthusiasts.

Following the race, Shaikh Mohammed and Shaikh Hamdan congratulated Shaikha Futtaim for her exceptional performance amidst competition between 64 riders for winning the race.

Meanwhile, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first deputy-chairman and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa congratulated Shaikha Najla on the result.

Shaikh Khalid affirmed the federation's plan to back woman riders in different competitions and provide all means of support to them on the regional and international levels.

On his part, Shaikha Najla's father and Al Fateh Stables coach Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa said the race had broad participation from different riders, which underlines the significance of this event in the Gulf region.

Shaikh Salman said the race was a tough one and featured huge competition, especially in the final 30km.



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