Winning at Windsor

May 16 - 22, 2018

Gulf Weekly Winning at Windsor

Bahrain is celebrating one of its finest equestrian achievements as Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa claimed first place in an endurance race staged at one of the world’s most prestigious horse shows.

His Majesty the King’s Representative for Charity Work and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee and Captain of the Royal Endurance Team won the 120km race at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, crossing the line in five hours, four minutes and forty-eight seconds, riding at an average speed of 23kmph atop his horse, Vipper De Luriecq.

His win came despite carrying an injury, but gritty determination to raise Bahrain’s flag in Great Britain paved the way to success.

He said: “I am thrilled to achieve first place in the race, which we in the Bahrain Royal Endurance Team dedicate to King Hamad, who is always present and following up the team’s participation in various events.

“Personally, I’m very proud to take such a great victory here, competing against top competitors from around the world.

“It was an absolute pleasure to be able to ride in Windsor Great Park and to be able to shake hands with Her Majesty the Queen. What a pleasure!

“Aside from winning, to come here and raise my flag and perform was a great honour. I’ve now won three out of six races here so I’m at 50 per cent.”

Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races, usually to a maximum of 160km.

The winning horse is the first one to cross the finish line while stopping periodically to pass a veterinary check that deems the animal in good health and fit to continue.

Any breed can compete, but the Arabian horse generally dominates the top levels because of the breed’s stamina and natural endurance abilities.

This was the sixth Royal Windsor Endurance event, and a record 125 horses from 18 nations set off in near perfect conditions to take on the challenging tracks of Windsor Great Park. Riders completed four laps of the circuit and is a test of skill and stamina for both horse and rider.

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, with the original structure built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. It has since served as a residence for 39 British monarchs, including The Queen. Indeed, she was there as a princess for the inaugural competition in 1943, which helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the British war effort. This year’s event marked the 75th anniversary of the show.

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