Fares Al Mansoori riding Nahar Shabab wins the World Championship for 8-year-old Young Horses

Fares Almansoori riding Nahar Shabab

By Anne Jonchery. Photos: Oreste Testa by Sport Endurance Evo


Arborea, a small Italian town on the shores of the Mediterranean, on the west coast of Sardinia, hosted the World Endurance Championship for eight-year-old horses from 15-19 September, 2021. It was the gelding Shagya Nahar Shabab, who had followed the SHF endurance circuit at the age of six, who won with his Emirati rider Fares Almansoori.

They were twenty couples to rush into the coolness of the Sardinian seaside, before being caught up in a heat of around 30°C. At the end of the four loops, alternating sand and hard ground, they are finally only nine to finish the competition.

Among them, the one his competitors have only seen from the back: Fares Al Mansoori. In the saddle on Nahar Shabab (Nabath) the young 18-year-old Emirati immediately outdistanced the other competitors by ten minutes, to finally win with a nineteen-minute lead, at an average speed of 21.1 km/h, and also won the next day's CEI2* event with DCH Arshan, at 18.9km/h.

Khalfan Juma Mohamed Khamis Beljaflan riding Kashmir and Alba Ruiz Alvarez riding Cardu 50

The following three pairs all enter in the same minute with his compatriot Khalfan Juma Mohamed Khamis Beljaflan in the lead, second with Kashmiir (Akim de Ducor) and who is only a hundredth ahead of the Spaniard Alba Ruiz de Villa Alvarez, riding Cardu 50 (origin not specified).

Frenchman Arthur Sevin and Dragon Feuillée (Un'Art) finished at the foot of the podium for only two hundredths of a second!

The M7 team thus ranks four out of five horses in the first four places, the fifth horse having been eliminated in the second loop. The two other Frenchmen entered Grégoire Tilquin and Delia de Bozouls (Mahabb) as well as Vincent Gaudriot with Dawa de Bozouls (Muget de Pascade) finished seventh and eighth respectively, with an average speed of 19 and 18.2 km/h.

In Arborea, French breeding has once again shown its quality. The winner is a son of Nabath, the second was born in France, and the fourth is a half Arab blood also born in France, son of Un'Art, descendant of Magic Piboul, by Dormane. As for the horses finishing from fifth to eighth place, they also come from French breeding, with in particular Doha d'Artagnan AA, son of Sadepers.

Winning cleanly
If there is a particularly happy man at the end of this weekend, it is Mohammed Suboosi, the manager and trainer of the M7 team. In addition to taking the first four places in the World Championship for eight-year-old horses, they took the podium in the CEI2*, and finished first and second in the CEI2* Junior.

M7's objective in this championship was clearly to win, but not at any price. The winning rider was instructed to take the lead and not let go because they could easily do so.

But the race strategy for the next three was to stay together, to go a little faster where the horses could, while taking care of them. This strategy was finalized in the last loop, where everyone had a place to hold.

Before each race, Mohammed gathers his team and decides what everyone should do. "If all goes well, it's for the team. If it goes wrong, it's mine! Here they could do it and they did it despite a difficult climate”.

One horse particularly amazed him, it was Kashmir, second and whose it was the first race at this level, which exploded in the last loop. The newcomer to the stable was purchased at Arkana sales. “I changed the way I get horses. Every year, I buy three to five horses at these sales. This shows that in Arkana, it is possible to find very good endurance horses,” he smiles.

All M7 horses are trained in France near Toulouse, except for Arthur Sevin, who is based in Gourdon, in the Lot. Sevin is also very satisfied with his race and his horse, Dragon Feuillée. “I am proud to be part of the M7 team, especially since we couldn't do better! Our objective with Lucie (Vandenbroeke, editor's note), my companion, was to show that we could stick to those of Toulouse and run with them, because we train alone ".

For his rider, Dragon was very professional from start to finish. The heat, which suddenly increased sharply, affected the gallop of the horse, which was very hot. “He impressed me and more than I expected. He has a strong mentality, a true warrior spirit! It was a good lead for an eight-year-old championship,” says Arthur, who has high hopes for this horse.

An image to restore
When Mohammed Suboosi is asked if he would like to add anything to this brilliant weekend, he reacts immediately: “There is one important thing I would like to say. I know that Europeans have a bad image of the Emirates. I want to show something else. You have to look at the present and not get stuck in the past. M7 is a young team that works differently. Treat us like others are treated! The level of the team is now increasing more than ever and we have the results. Here is the proof!

In Arborea, the winning horse underwent three hyposensitivity tests during the race. “I asked the judges if it avoided minor injuries. They told me yes, so…” concludes Mohammed Suboosi.

The Horse Country Show welcomed few riders during this weekend since the legendary Florac race was held on the same date. We can only regret this telescoping of the calendar which logically favors races in France.

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