Doha International Showjumping Championship gets underway

Doha: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) secured their places at the 2024 Paris Olympics Showjumping competition after finishing 1-2 at the at Nations Cup Olympic Qualifier (1.60 m), which was part of the Doha International Showjumping Championship being held at the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab on Monday.

They become the eighth and ninth teams to be sure of an Olympic spot, alongside hosts France, Sweden, Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Belgium.

Saudi Arabia finished first in the qualifier, with their team of Abdulrahman Alrajhi (Babalou HD), Khaled Almobty (Equine America Spacecake), Ramzy al-Duhami (Untouchable) and Abdullah Alsharbatly (Alamo) accumulating time totals of 235.31 in round 1 with nine penalties and 237.81 in round 2 with six penalties.

Saudi had an exciting team that has been strengthened by the addition of promising, high-profile horses in recent months. Saudi have a strong history in equestrian jumping having won team bronze at London 2012.

“We were not lucky in the first round but we changed the course in the next. I am happy to have this opportunity again with an excellent and talented team, as we have riders at the highest level,” said al-Duhami, the 2012 Olympic medallist.

The UAE came second with a total of 241.07 (eight penalties) and 236.38 (17 penalties). Their team featured Abdullah Mohamed Al Marri, Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi and Mohamed Ghanem Al Hajri.

“It’s a great feeling to be in Olympics. We are very happy with this achievement and now will target a good performance in Paris,” UAE’s Al Hajri said.

Qatar had a disappointing outing after being eliminated in the second round.

The hosts, which had Hamad Nasser Al Qadi (Sirocco), Saeed Nasser Al Qadi (Incredible W), Rashid Towaim Ali Al Marri (Concordess Nrw) and Bassem Mohamed (Caletto Cabana) in their line up, had a total of 242.71 (10 faults) in the first round.

African teams Egypt and Morocco – who both appeared at Tokyo 2020 –finished third and fourth respectively.

Earlier in the morning, the Doha International Showjumping Championship began with 1.45m class with Abdulrahman Alrajhi astride Bravour winning the event in a time of 58.58 seconds. UAE’s Moufi Owaida al-Karbi, on Baloucenta, was second with a time of 58.60 sec while Morocco’s Sami Cherkaoui, riding Chacsara, clocked 59.36 sec to claim third position.

Meanwhile, President of the Seventh Regional Group in the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Sami al-Dahami praised facilities at Al Shaqab. “Al Shaqab is one of the best venues in the world and this makes me proud that we have such equestrian facilities in our region,” he said.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee