Sheikh Mohammed has helped the United Arab Emirates finish first in the Endurance World Championships in Kentucky. The Dubai ruler finished second aboard Ciel Oriental during the Endurance Championship which is part of the World Equestrian Games at Lexington.
The 100-mile endurance competition is one of eight equestrian world championships. Sheikh Mohammed placed second to Spain’s Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton aboard Nobby. Sheikh Mohammed’s son – Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum – finished third on on SAS Alexis.
Although thrilled with the victory, Ponton also credited Sheikh Mohammed. “It’s really a strange feeling because I really wanted Sheikh Mohammed to be the World Champion,” she said. “I think he deserves it. He’s the person doing more for this sport in the world. This sport is what it is now because of him.”
Sheikh Mohammed, who hosted the 1998 Endurance World Championships and regularly hosts top endurance races, was thrilled to be a part of the UAE’s first team gold medal at the World Equestrian Games. He credited a love of the horse as an important factor for the UAE competitors.
“I love this country and the people here,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “The organization is good. The track is difficult, not easy, but that is to be expected.”