Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, Chief Executive Officer of Hydra Properties, and Ian Williams the FEI Director for Endurance announced the agreement and confirmed the donation from Hydra to the FEI for 2008/9 amounted to $NZ172,000 (500,000 DHS).
Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim commented that Endurance was a discipline very close to the UAE and is part of the culture and heritage of the Emirates. He thanked Princess Haya and the FEI for the opportunity to be involved in a Worldwide Educational Programme for the development of the discipline.
Hydra Properties, in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, has been a strong supporter of FEI competitions within the UAE and Dr Sulaiman recently presented the awards for the Hydra sponsored Al Wathba CEI 120km Endurance Ride won by Abdullah Thani bin Huzaim (UAE) with Omani Iman, and the Alasayel Ladies Endurance Series which was won by UAE rider Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi. The Challenge had been a highly successful event with representation of more than 12 nations from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Australasia. The three rounds were highly competitive rides, with the final round having a completion rate of 75% and a World Record winning time.
The Hydra Educational Sponsorship package will allow the FEI to plan out a programme of financially supported Educational Seminars and Courses for Endurance in South America, Africa and Asia. Provisional agreement has also been announced that a number individuals who qualify through the Hydra Educational programme will be invited to the UAE by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club to act as FEI officials at future FEI Endurance events in Abu Dhabi.
The Hydra scheme will allow the FEI to produce updated educational materials for all of its courses which will include newly produced instructional CDs, DVDs and Endurance Hand Books all directly linked to the new FEI Rules for Endurance, due to be introduced in January 2009.