BAHRAIN's top riders Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa arrived in Rabat, Morocco yesterday to lead the Royal Endurance Team at the Morocco-Bahrain Endurance Horseride Championship.
The ride, set to take place tomorrow at the Dar Es Salam Forest, will be organised for the first time by the Moroccan Equestrian Federation in co-operation with the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef).
Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports president and chief of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, said he was pleased with the ongoing preparations at the venue of the ride.
He highlighted the significance of the championship which underlines the strong ties linking Bahrain and Morocco.
Shaikh Nasser praised the efforts of the organising committee to make this first-ever championship an all-round success.
Both Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid, the council's first vice-president and Breef president, reached the Dar Es Salam Forest and inspected its facilities and the Bahraini team's horses.
The Royal Endurance Team pair also underwent their first training session with other members of the team under fair weather conditions.
Meanwhile, this ride has been approved in the calendar of the International Equestrian Federation and will be organised on an annual basis, it was announced yesterday.
During a Press conference held at the Royal Moroccan Federation in Rabat, the organisers announced the ride and other technical details to the public.
The conference was attended by Breef general secretary Ghalib Al Alawi, assistant general secretary Dr Khalid Hassan, Shaikh Nasser's Media and Information Centre director Tawfiq Salehi and secretary Hameed Faridi of Morocco.
The veterinary examination is set for today, just 24 hours before the start of the ride. The inspection sessions for horses will be conducted by a specialised team of veterinarians from the International Equestrian Federation. Dr Yassine Motemri of Tunisia is the president of the veterinary commission.
Other veterinarians are Dr Khalid Al Razaiqi of Oman, Dr Caonabo Melo of the Dominican Republic and Bahrain's Dr Ebrahim Yousef, Dr Fareeda Abdul Razaq, Dr Sabah Al Kabie and Dr Abdelrahman Abu Shook.
The organising committee is being headed by Moroccan Equestrian Federation president Princess Lalla Amina.
Breef general secretary Ghalib Al Alawi was named head of the grounds jury which also includes Bahraini officials Abdulghani Al Moosta, Ali Ghuloom and Mahdi Al Kalaiti.
Mohammed Dadulla is the foreign technical delegate, the chief steward is Mahmood Hasan of Bahrain while other strwards are Fahad Al Rumaihi and Abdulla Al Romaihi, also of Bahrain.
Top riders from Bahrain and Morocco are taking part in the event, which covers a total distance of 120km.
It will feature five stages, starting with 30km for the first stage. The second will be over 25km, the third 30km, the fourth 20km and the fifth 15km.