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Rodrigo Storani Saliba wins fifth place in World Endurance Championship for Young Riders

Rodrigo Saliba is top 5 in the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors 2023, ahead of all European representatives and non-Arab countries

Rodrigo Storani Saliba, 20-year-old, once again showed his talent at the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors, on the trails of Castelsagrat, in France, on Saturday, September 2.

Rodrigo and Loukario Desverrieres, a 9-year-old purebred Arabian, ran on the front line until halfway through the fourth and final loop, crossing the finish line in the important 5th place with an average speed of 18.8 km/h in the highly competitive 120 km race.

Excited, Rodrigo and his father Ricardo Jamil Saliba declared: "the achievement is dedicated to my uncle Paulo Jamil Saliba, my father's brother. He unfortunately passed away this year and had a life dedicated to breeding Arabian horses together with my father, doing long distance races, always inspiring and encouraging me in endurance."

Ricardo, owner of Stud Rach, one of the most important Arabian horse breeding facilities in Brazil since 1985, spoke about his son's mount. "Loukario is a partnership between us and his French breeder and trainer Ludovic Saroul. He is a French horse, relatively young and this was his first World Championship."

"The weather was a little sultry, with heat during part of the race. I think everything went well. The trail is very technical, it was difficult, but I had already done four races here. I decided to slow down in the last loop, as the Arabs from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had more experienced horses and were taking a lot of risks", revealed Rodrigo, who in 2022 was champion of the 120 km test event in Castelsgrat with Lokario Desverrieres and, in March 2023, the pair were runners-up in a trail 100 km, as training.

"We had been preparing Lokario Desverrieres since last year, without forcing him into any race with a cycle scheduled to reach the summit in this World Cup", guaranteed Rodrigo, who also commented on his strategy in the fourth loop. "I followed the plan: opening the distance who was behind, but don't fall into the trap of following the Arabs who accelerated above what I think is safe."

Dr Guilherme Ferreira Santos, veterinarian and coach of the Young Riders of Brazil, commented on the duo's strategy. “Rodrigo ran a calm race, knowing that the smartest team would be from France, as they knew the trail in more detail. He started with the French, but when he felt he had more horse, he didn't hesitate and took the first good initiative, leaving the French behind and following the groups at the front.”

“In the end, Rodrigo accelerated compared to the previous loops, but did not follow the group at the top in which some were eliminated. Rodrigo's horse arrived in very good condition, passed the vet check with a faster recovery, arriving fresh and shiny. The 5th place is more than deserved, for having really done a very clean, intelligent and mature race.”

"The repercussion was exceptional due to the fact that Rodrigo was ahead of all the French, Spanish and Italians, in short all the Europeans. So for us, the result was a victory. I thank my family, the Rach Stud team in Brazil and to Dr Guilherme Ferreira Santos, coach of the Brazilian team who started this project four years ago”, celebrated Ricardo Jamil Saliba.

The individual champion and runner-up title was won once again by the UAE representatives, with Rashed Ahmad Seghayer Alktebi riding Eddy de Montrozier in first place and Rashed Mohamed Atiq Khamis Almehairi riding Castlebar Cadabra in second..

Bahrain took third and fourth place with Isa Hameed Dakheel Al Anezi riding Ermine Dartagnan and Abdulla Hasan Alshaer Alrowaie with Be Goode, both from Victorious Stables.

For the first time, Bahrain won the team championship, with France and Italy in second and third place respectively.


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