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Endurance: The Sport of Sheikhs (First Edition) E-mail


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Endurance The Sport of Sheikhs (First Edition) In 680 BC, the Greeks introduced horse-drawn chariot racing into the Ancient Olympics. Run over nine miles in the hippodrome, the event was seen as an astonishing test of stamina for a horse. The Greeks had invented their own version of Endurance.

Over two and a half millennia later the sport of Endurance is again on the threshold of a march toward Olympic status. The chariots are gone. Instead the sport has returned to its original, Arabic form, a test of horsemanship as a single horse and rider press their outer limits to cross great distances in competition.

For thousands of years, the Arabs challenged their finest Arabian horses over desert courses. Fittingly it is the Arab world which has reinvigorated Endurance. Led by the desire of UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to preserve and promote Arab culture, Endurance was revived in the Emirates a decade and a half ago and has since sparked a regional resurgence in equestrian activity.

In the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed al Nahyan have become innovators. They have brought to bear the best in modern technology and veterinary care on this ancient sport. In doing so, Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Mansoor have transformed Endurance from a cottage industry into a major international sport.

Sheikh Mohammed’s innovative FEI/Emirates World Masters series has transformed top level Endurance. On a personal level, his competitive instincts have created a formidable international Endurance team that has heralded an era of professional Endurance. What had taken riders from other countries over 25 years to accomplish, Sheikh Mohammed achieved in less than 10. Like their father, Sheikh Mohammed’s sons have emerged as top-class riders: Sheikh Ahmed is World Champion, Sheikh Rashid won the European Open Championship and Sheikh Hamdan is World Young Riders Champion.

Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan has always left his indelible mark upon Endurance. His Al Wathba Endurance Stables are a force to be reckoned with, against anyone in the world, as their recent Gulf Cup and back-to-back President’s Cup successes testify. His Emirates International Endurance Village is the most stunning venue for the sport in the world.

Endurance: The Sport of Sheikhs is a testimonial to the achievement of Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Mansoor and so many other UAE and Middle Eastern leaders.

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