Qatari Knight Clinches the International King's Cup Endurance Championship 2024
Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia - In a formidable display of equestrian stamina and skill, Qatari knight, Saeed Al Naimi, galloped to victory at the prestigious fifth edition of the International King's Cup Endurance Championship 2024, hosted by the Al-Ula Governorate's Equestrian Village.
The event, which saw over 200 elite riders from around the world, including both men and women, compete over a grueling 120-kilometer course, boasted a substantial prize fund of 15 million Saudi Riyals. A record-breaking participation from 50 countries highlighted the global significance of the endurance competition.
Al Naimi achieved an impressive average speed of 23.7 km/h, crossing the finish line with a time of 5 hours, 22 minutes, and one second. Saudi rider Fares Abu Ras took the second place with a close speed of 23.3 km/h and a time of 5 hours, 23 minutes, and 15 seconds. They were followed by Emirati Hamad Al Tamimi, who clinched the third position with a speed of 21.4 km/h.
His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Fahd bin Abdullah Al Saud, President of the Saudi Equestrian Federation, and Ms. Abeer Al Aql, the acting CEO of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, awarded the prestigious trophy to Al Naimi. In his statement, Prince Abdullah bin Fahd commented, "Each edition of this championship witnesses refined advancements, and our ambition carries on without pause."
Following the day's competition, he expressed his satisfaction, remarking, "The hosting of the fifth edition of the King's Cup with such a significant prize and a record number of participating countries clearly reflects the unwavering support that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince extend to the sports sector, particularly equestrian sports. We enjoyed excellent competition today in an exceptional edition, and I congratulate Saeed Al Naimi for his victory. My gratitude goes to all participants for their efforts, the working team, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, the International Equestrian Federation, and everyone who contributed to the success of a championship that reaffirms Saudi Arabia as a global hub for major sports events."
Ms. Abeer Al Aql stated, "We recognize the importance of equestrian sports and heritage activities at the Royal Commission for Al-Ula. They are instrumental in our long-term plans and aspirations for Al-Ula. The King's Cup has promoted cultural diversity and celebrated sports excellence, attracting interest from international visitors and locals alike. Our equestrian strategies continue to evolve and expand, and we remain committed to collaborating with our partners in the Saudi and International Equestrian Federations to prepare for the 2026 World Endurance Championship in Al-Ula, a significant milestone towards achieving our goals."
The triumphant knight, Saeed Al Naimi, shared his joy, "I'm delighted with this significant victory and the opportunity to represent my country at such a level. The competition was intense against some of the world's best riders, adding to the importance of this triumph. I thank the organizers for their remarkable work and the people of Al-Ula for their warm hospitality and support, and of course, all team members who greatly facilitated my task."
The following Sunday will see the accompanying race covering a distance of 160 kilometers, with participation from 70 riders and a prize fund of 5 million Saudi Riyals. This race is held for the first time at this distance in preparation for the 2026 World Endurance Championship recently awarded to Al-Ula.
It is noteworthy that the International King's Cup Endurance Championship is one of the prominent sports events in the schedule of "Al-Ula Moments" festivals, which include various other sports and heritage events, such as the Al-Ula Camel Cup, Al-Ula Falconry Cup, the International Al-Ula Traditional Attire Javelin Catching Championship, and the Al-Ula Equestrian Archery World Cup.