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[RC] [Endurance Riding: News] 3/12/2009 12:44:00 PM - Endurance.Net

Weekly Times Now
Fran Cleland
March 13, 2009

MEG Wade - Australia's best known endurance rider and four-time Tom Quilty Cup winner - placed second of the visiting riders in the United Arab Emirates President's Cup.

The race, which was first staged in 2000, covers 160km and is held each year in mid-February.

It is one of the toughest in the world.

Each year selected horses and riders from around the world are invited to participate based on their current world ranking and recent performances, so it is for the world's best and toughest horses.

Entries range from 80 to 120 with a completion rate usually from 30 to 40 per cent.

The President's Cup has always been won by a rider and horse from the UAE.

Those from the UAE are passionate competitors in endurance and won team gold at the Endurance World Championships in Malaysia last November.

This year the event was won in just six hours and 30 minutes by Abu Dhabi rider Yousef Al Baloushi on Charlandre El Sharif of Al Reef Stables, the current 160km world record holder (6:28:28 in last year's Sheik Mohammed Cup), crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with his cousin, Omair Husain Abdulla Al Bloushi.

For their effort they each won a top-of-the-range four-wheel-drive plus considerable prize money.

The first invited overseas rider to finish was Frenchman Phillipe Benoit in 15th place followed by Meg Wade in 19th place on her home-bred mare, Castlebar Kalahari, who was flown to Abu Dhabi for the race.

Wade hopes Kalahari will be her mount for the World Equestrian Games team in Kentucky next year.

Another leading Australian rider, Penny Toft, also competed but her horse was withdrawn at the fourth checkpoint.

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Posted By Endurance.Net to Endurance Riding: News at 3/12/2009 12:44:00 PM