Saturday, December 27, 2008

Abu Dhabi: From Hobby to Profession!

Gulf News

(photo: M. Satya Narayan/Gulf News)
Maj Al Adhab says the support of the Rulers and the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation has helped him get a good insight into the finer aspects in officiating as an endurance judge.

By M Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: December 27, 2008, 23:32

Abu Dhabi: What started out as a hobby in 1990 soon blossomed into a fruitful association with horses and Major Mohammad Eisa Al Adhab is not only the Director of Dubai Mounted Police but has enjoyed many firsts in the equestrian world.

It was a hobby in 1990 and as a cadet in Dubai Police he began to enjoy riding and competing in equestrian events and after he became an officer in 1996, Mohammad Eisa caught the eye and began his journey as an official.

In 1997, the officer was sent to Australia under instructions from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and became a Steward in flat racing and was named to the Emirates Racing Authority as the first UAE national Steward.

His next step was into endurance and starting off as junior official, he soon reached the peak and is today one of the two active four-star international judged in endurance.

Speaking to Gulf News, Major Mohammad Eisa Al Adhab speaks about his involvement with horses which has seen him officiate in numerous world championships.

Gulf News: How did it all come about your involvement with horses?
Major Mohammad Eisa Al Adhab: It started as a hobby but and it was this interest in horses which soon resulted in me being named as Director of Dubai Mounted Police in 1997 after I became an officer in 1996.

Could you please explain Dubai Mounted Police in brief?
We have over 200 horses and they are part of different divisions. We have horses for crowd control, endurance, show jumping, ceremony shows and more recently we have a division which helps in rehabilitation of handicapped.

Apart from heading the Dubai Mounted Police, what are the other areas of interest with horses?
Thanks to the busy racing and endurance season in the UAE I have become a four-star international judge which allows me to officiate in international events. I am also the first UAE national who has been named as an 'Expert' in horses by the Dubai Courts.

What is your role as a Horse 'Expert'?
In cases involving horses or other equestrian activities, I am eligible to give my opinion to the courts.

As a UAE national, how do you look at your role as an International Endurance Judge?
The UAE is one of the few countries with the highest number of FEI rides. Apart from this the support of the Rulers and the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation has helped me get a good insight into the finer aspects in officiating as an endurance judge. With the horse's welfare being paramount my experience as a rider helps.

In the recent past, you have been officiating in all international championships. What are the challenges?
I was the Head of the Ground Jury at the Doha Games and have been a member of the Jury at the World Endurance Championships in 2006 in Germany and the recent World Endurance Championship in Malaysia. I was also an official at the European Open Championship in Portugal in 2007.

The sport is one of the fastest growing equestrian disciplines. With it the rules are also constantly being changed but fortunately for me... I manage to keep abreast of developments.

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