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RIYAD: AlUla is hosting two world-class equestrian events for the second time in two years.
The premiere, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2022, will take place on January 29.
This is a 120 kilometer endurance competition organized in cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation.
Located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. Both sporting events take place as part of the Winter at Tantora festival which takes place over the next six weeks.
The Endurance Cup will see more than 200 riders compete in one of the most exciting long distance horse races in the world. This is the third year that the tournament has been held, and over 15 million SR ($ 4.2 million) in prizes are offered.
The course lasts an average of eight hours and during this time some of the best riders in the world will ride through a variety of breathtaking landscapes. Both the horse and the rider need to be in great shape, as the race is physically and mentally demanding.
Last year, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum of F3 Stables won the competition.
Italia Endurance Stables & Academy has been appointed as the organizer of the Endurance Cup, under the leadership of Sports Director General Gianluca Laliscia and Event Director Brian Colin Dunn.
Dunn has a lot of praise for the historic location of the race.
He said: âThe whole technical team is delighted to visit the magnificent AlUla desert, which has such a deep connection with the heritage of the Arabian horse and which is very close to our hearts. The welcome from the people, the passion and the expertise they have for our sport will undoubtedly make it an epic and joyful experience. “
During the second Winter Equestrian Event in Tantora, visitors will also be able to experience a large polo tournament held in the desert, organized in partnership with the Saudi Polo Federation.
Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo will see four teams compete against each other from February 11-12 next year in a purpose-built arena near the ancient site of Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.
Participants will be a mix of guest patrons and professional players from the global polo community.
The players of the legendary La Dolfina Polo team will each lead a team. La Dolfina, who many consider the “perfect team”, have a handicap of 40 goals together and are the only team to have won three consecutive triple crowns: the Tortugas Open, the Hurlingham Open and the Open. Argentina, in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Recently, the Royal Commission for AlUla and La Dolfina polo team announced the establishment of a long-term partnership to promote the development of the sport in Saudi Arabia.
The agreement aims to make the historic city the number one destination for equestrian sports enthusiasts around the world.
Adolfo Cambiaso, founder of La Dolfina Polo, and someone considered the best polo player in history, has become an advocate for the AlUla destination.
âWe are delighted to return to AlUla and play with other customers and players around the world,â he said. “Since the first edition of Desert Polo, it’s been great to see the interest in polo growing in the Kingdom, and we look forward to expanding the sport in newly explored regions such as AlUla.”
Amr Zedan, President of the Saudi Polo Federation, said: âWe are very happy to welcome back the stars of La Dolfina Polo and the main patrons of polo this year from the United States, France and the United Kingdom. -United.
âThe Saudi Polo Federation is working closely to support the Royal Commission for AlUla in developing a new equestrian strategy to continue to build on the region’s Arabian horse heritage.
“With daily flights to AlUla, we hope to see new polo enthusiasts grow in the Medina region and across the Kingdom.”
This will be the third Winter at Tantora festival where local and international visitors can enjoy traditional music, art, heritage, adventure, culture and food.
Besides the two equestrian events, there will also be a haute couture equestrian fashion event, the Ikmah Fashion Cavalry Show, “where horses meet high fashion”.
AlUla equestrian events are key pillars of a long-term strategy to promote AlUla as an international travel destination.
The plans of the Royal Commission include the development of important infrastructure and facilities, as well as equestrian trails and routes allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the majesty of the cultural landscape.
Tickets to attend the two Winter at Tantora equestrian events can be purchased from December 27 at www.experiencealula.com.