AN ENGLISH interface of an endurance website for Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa was officially launched on Sunday.
The website 'www.alfurrsan.com', sponsored by MTC-Vodafone, was launched at a reception ceremony held at the Royal Endurance Team Stables premises in Sakhir.
"The Media Office and Information Centre is honoured to welcome our endurance fans to the Al Furrsan website and conveys appreciation of Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa," said centre director Tawfeeq Salehi.
"This website will serve the fans with all information they need about comprehensive activities of Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid," added Salehi.
Salehi extended his appreciation on behalf of the federation and the Bahraini riders to MTC Vodafone for sponsoring this website which will become beneficial for the sport fans.
"Endurance riding is a traditional sport, known as the supreme test of horsemanship for the knowledgeable rider," said Salehi.
The rider's efficiency and capability to bring his horse through a hard day of riding over a long distance and variable types of terrain without being detrimental to the horse's health, and providing it with qualities of hardness and endurance, are tested.
"Endurance rides not only test the stamina of the horse but also the skills of the riders and the support crew," he added.
Salehi said endurance riding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Bahrain saw the real birth of this sport in its soil on April 7, 2000.
"Endurance activities in the kingdom enjoys the whole-hearted support of His Majesty King Hamad. By visiting the championships regularly and extending full support to the riders, His Majesty the King inspired them to achieve higher goals," he said.
"Without the extensive support and the encouragement of His Majesty the King, this sport in Bahrain would never have reached to this level of professionalism and worldwide recognition. The riders and the people of Bahrain are proud of their ruler, His Majesty the King who extends his unlimited support to this sport," said Salehi.
His Majesty King Hamad instructed to organise the Bahrain International Endurance Horse Riding Championship, the first-ever event held in the kingdom, as two separate races for the riders from UAE and Bahrain.
The distance was 120km and the aim was to create a pool of knowledge for the participants and help them to realise their pitfalls as well as potential.
UAE's veteran rider Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was the winner from the UAE riders and Shaikh Salman bin Sager Al Khalifa reached first place among the Bahraini riders.
Inspired by the success of the First International Championship, the Kingdom began to organise various types of championship from October to May every year. To gain more confidence and experience, the Royal Endurance Team is regularly participating in endurance championships and training camps in Europe. During the last three years, the Royal Team achieved remarkable results in championships held in France and Ireland. According to the leader of the Royal Team, Shaikh Nasser, endurance riding is a test of discipline, stamina, fitness, strength and patience.