Uruguay’s Frederico Ferber has emerged as the winner of the third Fursan Endurance Cup 2022 at Hegra, the AlUla UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a race that saw nearly 200 horse riders cover a staggering 120 km.
Also referred to as The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, the race, recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, is organized in cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation, and considered one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions, with Gulf royalty competing for glory.
“Wow, this place is so beautiful. I am so proud to have won today for the trainer, for the owner, and so pleased to have competed in AlUla,” said Ferber. The time flew past, as I was able to enjoy the ride. It was very tricky in parts so I had to concentrate but the beauty is incredible.”
As part of the Winter at Tantora Festival, the one-day endurance competition saw the participation of 195 female and male riders, 116 of them representing Saudi Arabia, from 30 different countries with prizes reaching a whopping $4 million.
The riders in the endurance competition navigated the vast 120 km of desert terrain over the eight-hour course, consisting of four loops, which gradually dropped in length from 37.7 km down to 31.6 km, 28.0 km and 22.7 km.
There was an official briefing prior to the event, followed by scheduled veterinary checkup for all horses.
The sunrise marked the start of the riders’ eight-hour journey, with the first phase being covered in a swift speed of 24 kph. Riders Othman Al-Awadhi on Nefertiti de KA and Raed Mahmood on Azaria D’Ardic from Bahrain led the the pack, during which locals cheered on Saudi riders Abdullah Alomairah on Gazal Al-Qaseah and Hasan Bamani on Shaikh.
As riders stopped for veterinary checkpoints, Saudi Arabian and region-leading Bahraini riders representing the Gulf region were eliminated after phase two, which is regarded as the most challenging terrain and loop.
As the race continued onto phase three, riders from Uruguay Frederico Ferber on HC Yaiza and Andres Rivero on SM Fabricio, France’s Margot Chazel on Chaitana Des Chaises and India’s Narayan Singh Dungar Singh were the remaining four headed towards the cup.
Uruguay’s duo Ferber and Rivero made it to first and second place respectively, with the former completing the 120 km distance in 7hrs and 39 minutes, a mere second ahead of his compatriot.
One of the five females in the top 10 riders, Chazel of France, secured third place, finishing 20 minutes after Rivero and an average speed of 22 kph.