Sunday, March 17, 2013

Qatar: Top riders get set for Doha

Thepeninsulqatar.com

17 March 2013

DOHA: Several top riders and horses from all over the world will participate in show jumping, dressage and endurance competitions at first CHI Al Shaqab to be held later this month.

The four-day gala will be organised by Al Shaqab, member of Qatar Foundation, from March 27 to 30.
Undoubtedly, the jumping competition receives great attention at CHI Al Shaqab 2013, with the high number of world’s top ranking riders participating in it, and with the CSI 5* Grand Prix considered as a qualifier for the FEI World Equestrian Games Normandy 2014 to be held in Normandy, France.

One of the notable riders participating in the competition is Qatar’s Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani, who considers CHI Al Shaqab 2013 as an important stop for preparing for the FEI World Cup Jumping finals that will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, next month.

This is the second consecutive time that Sheikh Ali has qualified for the FEI World Cup Jumping, after he claimed one of the direct qualifier cards of the FEI Arab League Jumping Championships.

Commenting on his participation at CHI Al Shaqab, Sheikh Ali said: “We always aim at participating in these international competitions, which are usually held in European countries, as we are used to in the past years. What makes us feel proud this time is that Qatar is organising a competition of this international level through Al Shaqab. Qatar has acclaimed global attention, thanks to its ambitious vision in the field of sport. This places great responsibility on the Qatari riders to live up to the expectations.”

About the benefit that he shall gain from participating in CHI Al Shaqab, the Qatari rider said: “CHI Al Shaqab will provide a treasure of experience on the technical level, not only to the riders, but also to those working behind the scenes in the equestrian field. It serves as an opportunity to the local trainers to follow and observe the preparations and trainings done by the international riders participating in the competition.”

Praising the organisers, he added: “Al Shaqab owns the best stables and courses, and complete world-class facilities, which helps them in hosting a number of high level international tournaments. “

He explained: “Moreover, organising international championship of this kind proves the international standard and global fame of Al Shaqab, and adds to the value of the Qatar Equestrian Federation and the Qatar Olympic Committee.”

He added: “Everyone must keep in mind that the world’s top riders choose the places in which their horses shall be handled with utmost attention and care. The trust they place in allowing their horses to be kept at Al Shaqab in preparation of the championship proves that Al Shaqab is completely fit and eligible to organise international competitions.”

Commenting on the competitions in Qatar, Sheikh Ali said: “We hope that the sport organisers increase the number of championships held in Qatar. This shall reflect positively on the level of local competitions. Also this will help the horses and riders get the opportunity to compete in different places.” THE PENINSULA