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Riders reach halfway through Gallops of Oman.

Muscat: After taking on one of the most challenging stages of the journey, across Sharqiya Sands, the 22 teams reached the end of the third day which covered a route of 34 kms. The route took seven hours to complete and led the teams deep into the heart of the desert where they encountered the rolling dunes that make up the unique landscape of this region. 110 riders are taking part in Gallops of Oman, ranging from 14 to 58 years of age. The youngest rider to take part is Thomas Salacroux from Team Salalah said, "Since I was very young, it has been my dream to cross the desert and I cannot believe that I am actually here doing this. At home in France, we ride every day but here in Oman, we are riding six to seven hours every day. I am very happy with my horse and he is helping me a lot. Today, I have really enjoyed riding down the steep dunes." On completion of the third stage, AlexandreDevineau from Paris of Team Valhoria described the thrill of the adventure so far, "Although I've ridden for many years, I'm surprised to find that I'm learning a lot in this trip. The sand dunes definitely require us to adapt our style of riding from what we are used to. For example, when the dunes are big, we have to help our horses and lead them until the dune become suitable for riding again. The people of this area have been so welcoming and were waiting to cheer us when we entered the fourth camp at the Wilayat of Jaln." Commenting on the success of the trip so far, Major Sinan Al Abri from the Royal Cavalry and Gallops of Oman said, "There is no doubt that this is a real adventure for everyone. We are delighted with the way the ride is going. It is certainly proving challenging in places but both the horses and riders are holding up very well. We are looking forward to taking on the challenge tomorrow as the next stage of Gallops of Oman leads us out of the dunes towards the coast." The Gallops of Oman is a unique test of horsemanship over 180 kms delivered by the Royal Cavalry. It encourages all participating riders to push their boundaries and expand their riding capabilities. Handling the desert heat, mounted on unknown Arabian horses and working together as teams are only some of the factors that will mark the event as a test of true horsemanship. For more information, visit the official website

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Feb 20, 2014
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