Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took second place in the 160km endurance race at the World Equestrian Championships yesterday in Lexington, Kentucky.
Sheikh Mohammed finished less than a minute behind the winner, Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain.
Although he did not win, Sheikh Mohammed, whose son Sheikh Hamdan finished third, was pleased by his results.
“I enjoyed myself,” he said. “I took care of my horse and finished strong. The track is testing.”
Ponton said it was the most difficult race she had ever won. “It was difficult, it was really fast for me,” she said. “It is a strange feeling because I think Sheikh Mohammed deserves to be the world champion. He is the person that is doing the most for the sport. I didn’t know he was the one behind me.”
Ponton competed in the event seven weeks after giving birth to a daughter.
"I thought I could do it," she said. "Everybody kept telling me it was impossible."