Al Shaqab’s Endurance team celebrates it's victory in the podium at the Florac championship in Monpazier, France last weekend. The Qatar team was its dominating best in the event.
Al Shaqab is the name of the moment in endurance world after three weekends in a row wins. Since August, Al Shaqab hasn’t given a chance for other teams to reach the podium and confirmed a successful season in Europe.
In an atmosphere perfect for achieving good results, the endurance team went to Florac to participate in three competitions: CEI3 160 Km, CEI3 140 Km Young Horses 8 years and CEI2 130 Km. The team were ready to compete with the best riders and horses from Europe, in a really traditional competition in France.
Florac is known for the particular characteristics. It’s very tough track with mountain climbing and downward tracks, making it very hard and difficult race. But Al Shaqab endurance team overcame the challenges and showed it’s qualities, confirming the professionalism in the team.
A total of 430 Km was run on September 11, when 4 riders from Al Shaqab finalised the two races 130 Km and 140 Km: Faleh Bughenaim, Nasser Almohannadi, Mohamed al-Sowaidi and Khalid Sanadi.
The young and committed rider Almohannadi rode Asap Des Agatchols and triumphed as a champion in the 130 Km. In 8 hours 53 minutes and 33 seconds, the combination finished the race that started at 6:30 am.
Mohammed al-Sowaidi also produced a good result, coming 4th with Ouarnik du Bruguet, in a timing of 6: 20.24s, with a really faster 4th loop, 23,45 km speed
The team enjoyed another success when Bughenaim and Samurai Du Mas had a sprint in the finishing line with a French rider. The expertise and impressive quality made the difference for the Qatari riders as they climbed on top of the podium in 140 Km Young Horses 8 Years.
Bughenaim and Du Mas achieved the result in 7:20.53 riding time, 19,16 average speed and with a really good time recovering for the horse, that didn’t take more than 3 min, specially in the returning for the 2nd loop, having 1min38 to recover. The faster loop for the combination was the last one, with a 22,40 Km/h speed. In the same competition Khalid Sanad and Salam Banquetol came 4th place, with a timing of 7:29.00.
On September 12th, Bughenaim showed again his strength in endurance with Major Armor. The rider was at first spot from the beginning and was won the race in 13:45. 31s. The average speed for the combination was 17,76 Km/h, with 9:05. 31s riding time. “Endurance is a very demanding sport and requires a lot of preparation for riders and horses. The improbable and surprises are always present, but in this competition everything happened as planned and we were able to show the quality of our team,” Bughenaim said.
The weekend was a record breaking achievement for Al Shaqab and the audience were surprised with Qatar team’s total dominance. Is a golden era in Al Shaqab’s history and the equestrian community has celebrated this winning spree.
“It was an amazing result for Al Shaqab. Florac with the Tevis Cup in USA, are the most difficult race in the world and the three wins of this weekend was very significant.
The trainers, riders, horses, grooms and assistance were perfect and did a very good job. We had six horses in all the competition and 5 of them finished in good positions. The one that didn’t, unfortunately fell down in the 1st loop for 160 Km and wasn’t able to continue in the race”, explained the manager for Al Shaqab Endurance Stables, Hadi Ramzani.
In the weekend before the team marked a memorable history with two winners in Monpazier, also in France. Bughenaim emerged champion in the CEI 120 Km and so did Nasser Almohannadi in CEI 90 Km.
Al Shaqab’s only entered with just one horse for the 120 km race, as endurance is a sport that has big chances for elimination. But Halte A Tout was brave and with Bughenaim and averaged the last loop in 25,82 Km/h. The finishing point was most spectacular one and looked like flat race’s narrow edge when Faleh pointed sprinting with a French rider in the finish line, receiving warm applause from the audience.
Faleh and Halte A Tout shared the loops with riders from seven countries and completed the race in 8:25. 52s and 6:15.52s riding time and eight minutes recovering time for the horse. The average speed for the combination was 19,71 Km/h. The endurance manager and trainer, Hadi Nasser al-Naimi was confident about the finishing successfully and as per his desire, this chestnut male became a star of the event.
The Bastide Town witnessed another triumph for Al Shaqab with Nasser Almohannadi and Djitane de Leyre in the 90 Km competition, that crossed the finish line with the startling 27,13 Km/h speed for the last loop, adding 21,97 Km/h average speed. With an advantage of 11.09s, Nasser shared the podium with Bughenaim. Running with 74 combinations, from 9 countries, interestingly no other country riders were capable to get ahead of winners al shaqab.
In the Monpazier, a popular event with 300 horses entering the fray, Qatar produced another dominant show.
Khalid Sanad al-Nuami with Kinaye de Sinuhe won the 160 Km race. The in 16 km total speed and the second loop was the faster for the rider with 19,31 km. Atta Peer took the second place with Ouarnik Du Bruguet and the average speed was also 16,00 Km/h.
In the 120 km race, the winner was Sultam Al Shamousi , who rode Abdula Du Florival. The average speed for the combination was 16.92 Km/h. Bughenaim with Major Armor came second, with the average speed 16,54 Km/h.
The endurance team is in France for the season since May, participating and training in competitions around the country. The team of Al Shaqab is under the management and training of Hadi Ramzani, and since 2008 he has prepared competitors for national and international events, including European Championships, Asian Games and FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Executive Director of Al Shaqab, Fahad al-Qahtani was pleased with team’s achievements. “Al Shaqab’s achievements is due to support that we receive within our team at all levels, and also from Qatar Foundation, which provides best training. We had another successful season in France and our team makes us proud,” he added.