UAE team Finishes Third and is One out of Two Middle East Countries to Qualify
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 24th February 2019: Germany were crowned champions of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ at Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening, accumulating six faults across two rounds and beating Ireland into second place.
But the biggest cheers on the night went to the riders of the UAE team whose third-place finish was the best result for the UAE in Middle Eastern qualifying leg of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™.
The team has now qualified for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Finals which will be held in Barcelona in October.
The event, which was the closing class of the five-star President of the UAE Showjumping Cup presented by Longines, was contested by seven teams consisting of four horse and rider combinations and included Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Ireland and Saudi Arabia as well as Germany and the UAE.
Germany finished with the lowest score of six faults, putting them ahead of Ireland on 13 and the UAE and Saudi Arabia both on 18. The UAE crept ahead of Saudi Arabia in the rankings because due to the fact they had a faster time.
Four riders from each team contested the competition which was held over two rounds with the worst score being dropped.
The German team of Philipp Weishaupt, Mario Stevens, Sven Schlusselberg and Miriam Schneider, rode confidently and strongly to pull ahead of closest competitors, Ireland, in the second round.
After the class Wieshaupt, who also won the President of the UAE Showjumping Cup presented by Longines on Thursday, congratulated the UAE team on their best-ever Longines FEI Nations Cup™ finish.
“Every year that I come back here it’s getting more and more difficult to win,” he said. “The UAE team are riding really well and it’s not just these four riders - the UAE has a strong team, great horses, great trainers and the facilities here are fantastic. It’s clear that the UAE has a very bright future in this sport.”
The UAE team, consisting of Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, Nadia Taryam, Abdullah Al Marri and Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi were delighted with their third-place finish.
“We have a very close team and we have a good chemistry between us,” said Sheikha Latifa, a World Equestrian Games and Olympic rider, who was the first to ride for the UAE. “I was fine about riding first to be honest, I didn’t feel the pressure because I knew the team had my back.”
The preceding classes before the Longines FEI Nations Cup provided a host of international winners. It was exactly 12 months ago that Rene Tebbel last rode in a horseshow, but that did not stop the Ukranian from winning the five-star Al Shira’aa Challenge, on a horse borrowed from fellow competitor, Vladimir Tuganov.
Tebbel has been riding Cosun on and off over the years and had competed in other classes at the President of the UAE Showjumping Cup presented by Longines over the weekend, but it all came together on Saturday.
The pair put in a fast, smooth clear round in the 150cm jump-off, to go ahead of leader, Alice Debany Clero from the USA in a time of 31.99sec. Kristaps Neretnieks and Moon Ray representing Latvia were third.
“I rode the horse two years ago,” said Tebbel. “He is one of Vladimir Tuganov’s so I have to say thank you to him for letting me ride. This show last year was actually my last show so I came on Monday. I’m very pleased to be here.”
The UAE’s youth riders have been producing solid performances this season and their great run of form continued yesterday when Rashid Dherar Al Thani claimed the UAE Equestrian Federation Children’s Cup on Alima’s Girl. In the process he beat Syria’s Layth Ghareb on Quapitola SR Z and compatriot, Saif Abdulla Mohammed Al Shamsi, on Dezapamillion Mas.
Youth Olympic Games silver medalist, Omar Al Marzooqi successfully defended his Junior Grand Prix title from 2018 when he landed the Al Forsan Junior Cup on Coral Beach Z. He finished ahead of second-placed Austrian rider, Dominic Nazir Bechara and Don Junior MFS and Mohammed Hamad Ali Al Kirbi on Air Ukraine in third. Al Marzooqi was doubling up after winning the junior class on Friday.
“I won the junior classes two days in a row and I won the Junior Grand Prix last year as well so I am defending my title,” said Al Marzooqi.
The President of the UAE Showjumping Cup was organised the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation.
H.E. Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, President of UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation said:
“The President of the UAE Showjumping Cup presented by Longines is the highlight of the sport in the UAE. When viewed alongside the entire calendar of equestrian events in the UAE, it serves to cement our position as a global hub for equerstrianism.”
“It gives us great pleasure to welcome riders from all over the world, both to enrich our own equestrian environment and to spread the word about the developments the sport is undergoing here. The close relationship between the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation and the FEI underpins everything we do, and we look forward to developing this relationship still further as we look to the future.”