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World Endurance Championships dominated by the UAE

Endurance_Sheikh_Mohammed_Bin_Rashid_Al_Maktoum.JPG

Competitors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) dominated the FEI Longines World Endurance Championships at Euston Park, Suffolk on Saturday (25 August), taking team gold and all three individual medals.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Madji du Pont (pictured) claimed the individual title, with an average speed of 22.82km/h.

Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum rode Yamamah into silver medal position, while Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and Vendaval claimed individual bronze.

The UAE finished a full two hours ahead of the team silver medallists, France. Oman took team bronze.

A total of 147 horse and rider combinations from 38 countries took part in the competition, which took place over a 160km course on the Duke of Grafton’s estate. The testing course took in surrounding farmland, forest tracks and grassland.

Spain’s Maria Alvarez Ponton was attempting to match the record – set by America’s Becky Hart – of winning three successive world titles. She was riding the legendary Nobby, with whom she has won two World and one European championships. The 14.2hh veteran is now 17 years old.

But the popular pair had to settle for fourth place.

A powerful thunderstorm in the early evening – when some of the slower combinations were still on the course – forced organisers to reduce the distance, allowing those riders to finish at the penultimate vet gate.

Don’t miss our full report, including details of how the British riders got on, in this week’s magazine, on sale Thursday 30 August, 2012