– The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup returns with record-extending fifth edition on 10th February
– World’s finest riders among those competing in rigorous long-distance challenges, including 5 riders from AlUla participating at the 120km CEI 2* and 1 local rider participating at the 160km CEI3* competition
– 120km CEI 2* competition will decide 2024 the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup winner on February 10
– Additional 160km CEI 3* competition on February 11 is part of build-up to 2026 FEI World Endurance Championships in AlUla
AlUla, Saudi Arabia – : New details were unveiled ahead of the record-extending fifth edition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, set to captivate audiences in AlUla with thrilling shows of sportsmanship and equestrian excellence on 10th February 2024.
Organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in partnership with the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), and the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF), the Endurance Cup stands as a flagship event in the global endurance circuit. Returning to the ancient oasis, this upcoming edition boasts the largest prize money ever offered for an endurance event and features some of the world’s finest riders, horses, and trainers, as well as distinguished dignitaries and international patrons.
“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of a stellar line-up of talents for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup – a line-up that solidifies both its popularity and prestige,” said Ziad AlSuhaibani, Chief Sports Officer at RCU. “The success of this event extends beyond regional acclaim, resonating on the global endurance circuit. With immense excitement, we look forward to hosting one of the most thrilling and action-packed Endurance Cups to date. Audiences are assured of two days of awe-inspiring displays of endurance and sporting excellence.”
Reflecting its reputation as the ultimate endurance horse event, the 2024 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup will host the top 20 endurance riders in the FEI world rankings alongside a host of professional female riders and other elite performers from the GCC and further afield.
On Saturday, February 10, 200 riders from 51 countries – including five from AlUla – will engage in a challenging 120km CEI 2* competition with the the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup awaiting the winner.
The following day, February 11, 67 riders – including one from AlUla – will compete in an additional 160km CEI 3* distance competition that people can enjoy watching. This event will serve as a prelude to the highly anticipated 2026 FEI World Endurance Championships in AlUla.
The distinguished presence of regional royalty and VIPs will also add to its ever-growing prestige as attendees enjoy an incredible Arabian horse live experience in the Middle East’s premier endurance sports hub.
A new home of world-class events, facilities, and rapidly growing infrastructure, AlFursan Equestrian Village is part of RCU’s wider equestrian strategy to develop and expand the sport locally, as well as to position AlUla as the ultimate destination for heritage sports.
AlUla has emerged as a leading hub for equestrian excellence, while also fostering sports diversity and prioritising the welfare of the horses. Embracing inclusivity, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup allows both men and women to compete on an equal footing, with nearly 20% of the 200 riders in the 2024 edition being women. While the competition involves timed rides, the primary focus remains on ensuring the well-being of both rider and horse, emphasising the importance of completing all loops in optimal condition rather than pursuing sheer speed.
With a vision to bolster modern and heritage equestrian sports in AlUla, the Equine Training Programme based in the AlFursan Equestrian Village is building on the region’s rich legacy within this field, with training initiatives established to empower local riders and professionals such as veterinarians, coaches, and grooms. As a result of the training programme, this year will witness the participation of 5 local riders at the 120km CEI 2* competition and 1 local rider at the 160km CEI 3* competition.
The Endurance Cup has empowered Saudi Vision 2030 since its inception. Besides playing a starring role in AlUla’s emergence as a premier endurance sports hub, the event has supported economic development locally and nationally, welcoming tourists and creating new job opportunities in line with the aspirations of the Kingdom’s leadership. It’s also inspired more Saudi nationals to engage in stewarding and veterinary support roles while fostering a route for local and regional enthusiasts to engage with equestrianism as a future hobby or potential career.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is one of the marquee sports events in the AlUla Moments Calendar of events and festivals, spanning a large number of other heritage sports events such as the AlUla Camel Cup, AlUla Falcon Cup, the Tent Pegging World Championship and Horseback Archery World Cup, in addition to the other sports events; AlUla Tour, AlUla Trail Race and Tough Mudder infinity.