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A test of endurance: Five-day ‘Gallops of Jordan’ equestrian race ends in Petra

By Batool Ghaith - Nov 02,2021 - Last updated at Nov 02,2021

Top: Their Royal Highnesses Prince Ali and Princess Rym pose for a photo with the Jordanian team. Above: Jordan’s equestrian team members at the end of their race in front of the Treasury, Petra’s iconic façade (Photos courtesy of Batool Abdallat)

 

AMMAN — Led by HRH Princess Jalila Bint Ali, Jordan took sixth place among 25 teams in the 200km five-day long “Gallops of Jordan” race from Wadi Rum to Petra.

The event, which took place from October 23-30, involved 25 teams of 133 riders from 15 different countries. The race started in Wadi Rum and ended in the ancient rose-red city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and was won by the French team “Blue Ghallah”.

According to race organiser Sameer Ahmad, the race had previously taken place in India, Morocco and Oman, this being the fourth edition of the event in Jordan.

“This edition had many more people than the previous editions; many people were still on the waiting list as well. We had a few important personalities in the race, a model who won Miss France six years ago, and a Belgian rider who lost both her legs from above the knee in a car crash, and she managed to finish the race,”Ahmad told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Ahmad noted that the race was well organised despite facing challenges and minor errors.

“It is challenging to be in the desert with no connection, but thankfully we had Zain Jordan who took care of that part, which made things easier,” he noted.

He added that the race was successful, saying: “We are proud of this achievement and we look forward to having similar events in the future too”.

Batool Abdallat, a member of the Jordanian team who participated in the race, expressed her pride and happiness in participating.

“I am very proud to be part of this national achievement and raising the name of our country. The race was more of an endurance test rather than a speed race and we managed to finish it,”Abdallat said.

She described her experience as “fascinating”, noting that they visited new places in Jordan during their journey. 

“It was very satisfying to explore new areas in Jordan and also witness other people get mesmerised by its beauty. Many participants extended their stays to see more of Jordan,” Abdallat told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Abdallat noted that there were continuous stations to rest, feed and water the horses, which all came from Jordan. 

“We moved for five hours per day, approximately crossing 40km each day. It was great to share the experience with so many people from all over the world, and we were very happy to reach the Treasury [Petra’s iconic façade] by the end,” she continued.

According to Abdallat, the Jordanian team, called “Jordan’s Centennial Team”, consisted of six members. “Our goal was to showcase our achievements through the 100 years and celebrate our country,” she said.

“Although it was not easy, it was a beautiful experience which I am very proud of, and having HRH Prince Ali Bin Hussein at the end of the race was heart-warming,” Abdallat concluded.

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