UAE’s teenage sensation Saeed Al Muhairi astride 8-year-old Rabdan, was crowned world champion at The FEI Meydan World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and juniors 2017, a 120 km ride held at the scenic Parco Giardino Sigurtà in Verona, Italy.
The 14-year-old was the standout performer in a field of 93 runners, from 15 teams representing 32 countries, with a winning time of 04:58:41 at an average speed of 24.21 kms per hour.
A total of 55 riders finished the four loop ride, with Al Muhairi leading the pack in three. At the end of the first loop which was 38 kms long, the UAE teenager finished in top position, he dropped to third place in the second loop which was 33 kms long, but regained the lead in the third and fourth loops which were 27.5km and 22 km respectively.
This was the 17th career start for Al Muhairi and 11th in Europe this summer, where the UAE rider has been preparing hard for the World Championships. The 14 year old who rides for the M7 Endurance stables, stacked up three wins in CEIYJ2* events in Europe leading up to Verona, the most recent coming on Sept. 2 at Euston Park.
Speaking later Al Muhairi said “The ride was very difficult, and there was unprecedented competition among the best young horsemen and the best trained horses in the world.
The final loop was the most difficult, and yet Rabdan my horse performed exceptionally well, this is a tribute to him being a really strong horse, as well as a reflection that he received the best direction and guidance from trainer Mohammed Al Sabousi.”
UAE rider Ghanim Al Owaisi and his mare Shadeedah came in second, about five minutes behind the leader averaging a speed of just under 24 kms per hour, while Spanish rider Maite Ledo riding Qualif du Poncelet claimed bronze after stopping the clock at 05:08:01.
The UAE claimed gold in the team event as well, with Spain taking silver and Qatar getting bronze.
The FEI Meydan World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2017, highlighted the two day Meydan sponsored Italia Endurance Festival, held at Parco Giardino Sigurtà-declared as Europe’s second most beautiful park.