In a weeks time, the first Gallops of Oman endurance ride event will take place down in the Sharqiyah sands. The endurance ride has been organized by the Royal Cavalry of Oman after it being thought up by some French polo personalities. There are 110 riders, 10 Omani and 100 "from around the world" - but basically France.
The event runs for 5 days, 4 nights and is a "test of horsemanship that also celebrates Omani culture and heritage". The stages look like this:
|•||February 17th: Starting in Al Rakah at 8am, the welcoming ceremony will debut this five day endurance competition. The first leg will be 40 kms where the riders will head to Tiwi Wareed, the second camp.|
|•||February 18th: The riders will cover a distance of 41 kms where they will head to Tiwi Khazeena Camp.|
|•||February 19th: The third stage will cover 34 kms before the riders reach Tiwi Al Hatayem Camp.|
|•||February 20th: The riders will cover a distance of 30 kms before reaching Quhaid Camp.|
|•||February 21st: The fifth and final stage will see participants cover a distance of 26 kms, concluding the race at Qudayma Camp. Adjustments will be made along the route to bring the total distance to 180 kms.|
Now, for those of you who like to camp in these still-cool days, it might be worth camping down at Qudayma in order to see the racers at the finish line. Thanks to a reader who emailed this to me, and kindly included a Google Maps link to the location of the finish line (or the general area anyway). Basically drive to Sur, turn right and take the new road down to Masirah Island docks, and over half way, thats the finish line. Here's the official website which has more information if you want it.
It's a pretty good idea and I hope it goes off without a hitch - hopefully the shenanigans encountered by Hidalgo won't happen on this ride!