MIGHTY MARIA WINS ENDURANCE GOLD, UAE SCOOP TEAM TITLE by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 26 September – Spain’s Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton and her super-horse, Nobby, wrote their names into the history books of the sport of Endurance today when adding the individual gold medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky to their 2008 World Championship and 2009 European Championship titles. The hat-trick has never been done before, and Nobby’s extraordinary recovery-rate proved key to their success once again. But Ponton herself is something of a super-woman. Only seven weeks ago she gave birth to her daughter, Maria, yet she had the stamina, skill, physical fitness and concentration to win the coveted title against the sharpest competition today.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the silver medal with Ciel Oriental while his son, His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan Bin Al Maktoum took bronze, and it was no surprise when the UAE claimed the team title as His HE Sheikh Hamdan joined with HE Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum to finish well ahead of the French in silver medal position and Germany in bronze.