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Sayer strikes Fegentri gold for Britain in Qatar

QATAR: Emma Sayer struck gold for Britain in the latest stage of the Fegentri women's amateur riders' world championship in Qatar on Thursday, when the strength normally deployed riding jumpers in the north of England galvanized her mount Besher Al Naif in a 7f conditions event for local purebred arabians.

Sayer got the good start connections had hoped for from an inside draw but was quickly swamped by most of the field, leaving her trailing by at least six lengths and on the outside turning into the 350m straight.

However, as the leaders came back to the field, Sayer got into overdrive and surged into the lead in the last 50 metres, winning by three-quarters of a length from Germany's Berit Weber on Shujaa.

Sayer, who celebrated her 21st birthday last month, was following the example of Freddie Mitchell, Britain's representative in the men's championship, who landed his first win in the competition on the course on Tuesday.

Sayer's immediate reaction was: "Amazing - it definitely makes up for missing Catterick on Tuesday!"

She added: "I was cruising on the home turn but it was a matter of whether I could get to the leaders. They have different whip rules here and the trainer told me to give the horse some stick, so I did."

Ireland's Fegentri representative Lisa O'Neill did not get quite the same response from her mount and finished 14th in the 15-runner field.

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