Back to Birthplace of the Gallops in the Sultanate of Oman from the 17th to 25th of February 2024! Discover the pink, ochre, and white dunes of the Wahiba Sands also known as the Sugar Dunes.
10 years ago, a hundred privileged riders discovered the Gallops, an extraordinary adventure across the Wahiba Sands to the Arabian Sea. Since then, the Gallops has explored other equally fascinating deserts: the dunes of Merzouga in Morocco (2018), the sands of Rajasthan in India (2019), and the lunar landscapes of Wadi Rum in Jordan (2021). For the tenth anniversary edition, the Gallops will return to their birthplace and cross the Wahiba Sands desert again. However, this edition will trace a new route to discover new breath-taking landscapes of the Sultanate.
The Gallops spirit.
The Gallops is an extraordinary equestrian, human, and cultural experience. Since 2014, this wild adventure has entered the hearts of the participants who have become addicted to the spirit of this unique raid. It is a privileged and almost confidential club but accessible to all. A rarity that should make new riders absolutely want to join. For this fifth edition, the number of participants will be reduced, making the adventure even more exclusive: seventy riders divided into fourteen teams will take their marks at the starting line.
The principle of the raid remains the same: the participants must complete each of the five 30–40-kilometers stages in a time that is closest to an ideal set time.
It is not a race, but rather an endurance equestrian raid through spectacular desert landscapes, with a GPS as the only orientation tool. For this edition, GPS points will be deliberately reduced to make the route more challenging. The Gallops is an enormous sporting performance and a formidable challenge. The competition is there, and many come to win, but that is not what is important here.
Concern for the welfare of the horses.
The Oman Equestrian & Racing Federation is now the sole official body in Oman responsible for overseeing all equestrian activities in the Sultanate. The organisers of the Gallops will work under their aegis and select the horses. The horses will be Omani Arabian thoroughbreds and Anglo-Arabs from Omani riding schools. Their well-being is a major concern for the organisation. Five vets will be carrying out two checks per stage, and the horses are under constant surveillance by the „caravan“ accompanying them. The length of each stage will never exceed forty kilometres.
As with every edition, the level of riders will be closely monitored. Without being endurance champions, participants must be accomplished outdoor riders with a perfect mastery of the three gaits and an irreproachable knowledge of horses. In previous Gallops editions, inseparable pairs have been formed between rider and horse from their desert adventure to the point that riders have purchased their horse and imported them to be reunited together in their new forever home.
An uncharted course.
Departure from the beautiful Arabian Oryx Camp in the heart of the Golden Sands of the Sharqiya Desert. The journey will then reach the Arabian Sea via new routes and landscapes with superb shades of ochre and red, but also green. An unexpected oasis in an almost mystical silence in the middle of the desert will surprise the participants.
The raid comes to an end on a white sandy beach on the shores of the turquoise Arabian Sea, the Kowaima beach… a perfect party backdrop for the legendary and unmissable White Party that will take place under the fabulous starry sky in this magical place.
At the end of a shortened fifth leg, the riders will be taken back to Muscat, where polo players will be able to take part in a beach polo tournament, again on the shores of the Arabian Sea, in front of an expected large audience.
New for pedestrians: camel trekking.
Not everyone rides horses, however, many dream of discovering the fabulous landscapes of the Wahiba Sands while embarking on their own unique adventure. This edition, the Gallops will offer trekking stages for accompanying persons: routes of around twenty kilometres which will join the same arrival of the horses from the lunch site. In case of fatigue, two camels will follow, ready to take the exhausted walkers on their backs. For the first few stages, trekkers will be accompanied by a camel master, but after that, participants will have to find their own way with a GPS: adventure is for everyone.
A warrior‘s rest.
While in Muscat, the capital of Oman, the participants will be received at the 5* Intercontinental Hotel. In the desert, participants will sleep in bivouacs and comfortable tents where the oriental dream will continue in an exotic setting with all the logistics necessary and buffets that will delight the taste buds of adventurers after the multi-coloured sands have delighted their pupils. There are also 5* bivouacs where after night falls, traditional shows given by the particularly welcoming Bedouins in Oman, and the sumptuous White Party will punctuate this adventure with exceptional encounters and moments.
For the fifth time, the Gallops promises to be exciting and unique. A new setting to discover: deserts that are fascinating as they are full of curiosities, life, and diverse landscapes.