Spanish rider Eulalia Gonzalez Guardia proved her class as a leading endurance athlete after she emerged victorious in the 2021 edition of the 160km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Presented by Longines, on Saturday at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City.
Guardia who rides for M7 2 Stables and trains under Mohammed Ahmed Ali Al Subose was aboard 10-year-old grey gelding Bilal De La Belange as the pair emerged victorious in impressive style.
Speaking after the event the winner said: “It is amazing. I am very happy for our team. It is unbelievable. I still can’t believe that we won. This is the first time my horse raced here. I was not very sure we would win. But it feels really good.
Guardia added: “The weather made it challenging, but I am very happy to be a part of this team. This is a victory for the entire team because everybody put their best effort and everyone worked very hard, so this is for all of us.”
Four of the top-five finishers in the 14th running of this competition hailed from the UAE. In second place was Saeed Hamod Alkhayari aboard Cachou for M7 stables, while Saif Ahmed Almazrouei came in third, partnered by magic Glenn Tamar representing MRM Stables.
The HH Sheikh Mohammed Endurance Cup headlines the four-day HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival. The 160km ride, had a total of 161 competitors starting the ride, from 20 countries representing 68 stables.
The first group of riders embarked upon the 160km, five loop course at seven am. The distances for the five loops were 40km, 35km, 35km, 30km and 20km respectively.
The support of Pillar Partners Longines – presenting sponsors of the ride, along with Azizi Developments, and Al Tayer Motors – is vital to the exceptional success of the HH Endurance Cup Festival.
Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, said: “We would like to congratulate Eulalia Gonzalez Guardia for her win in this very prestigious competition. We would also like to congratulate all the placed winners and every single competitor for their participation.
Endurance riding in Dubai and the UAE has developed and grown to great heights as a result of the support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Dubai Equestrian Club is deeply grateful for his unstinting support of endurance riding and this event.
“We extend our appreciation to our key sponsors Longines, Al Tayer Motors and Azizi Developments, and who are major supporters of equestrian sports in Dubai and around the world.
“The enthusiastic participation of all our local and international competitors is heartening for us and is a clear indicator that the sport of endurance riding is growing well and has a secure future.”