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News from Al Shaqab on preparations, entertainments and competitors for the Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines 2023

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CHI Al Shaqab

19 February 2023 – Doha, Qatar. With just a few days to go before the start of this year’s Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines – the 10th edition of the equestrian center’s signature annual event, to be held at its world-famous Longines Arena from 23 to 25 February 2023 – final preparations are now well underway.


The event is supported by Title Sponsor, Commercial Bank; Presenting Partner, Longines; and Main Sponsor, ExxonMobil. The event’s additional supporters are Qatar Tourism (Official Sponsor), Vodafone Qatar (Telecom Partner), Gulfcrafts (Space Branding Partner), Equine Veterinary Medical Center (Official Veterinary Partner), and Aspetar (Official Medical Partner).


As always, the competition will showcase outstanding equestrianism from the very best regional and international athletes, both riders and horses – each pair seeking to achieve that special bond that enables them to compete for the top honors in Showjumping, Dressage or Para-Dressage.


The indoor/outdoor arenas and other facilities are being readied to welcome all visitors – not least the 138 élite horses which are due to compete. The competition horses, which hail from countries all around the world, will have first made their way to Liège in Belgium from various European departure points. They will then begin their journey to Doha, safely accommodated on specially chartered flights that have been equipped to ensure the welfare of the horses and protect them on the journey.

After arrival, these powerful and breathtakingly beautiful horses will be prepared by the world’s best riders and trainers to compete at CHI AL SHAQAB 2023 – making it an international equestrian competition that’s not to be missed!


As well as magnificent horses and outstanding horsemanship, the event will offer guests the chance to enjoy a wide range of cultural, educational and entertainment activities suitable for all the family: pony rides, live music and dance shows, arcade games, arts & crafts, face painting, puppet shows, a clown duo, children’s contests, magic shows, PlayStation games, virtual reality experiences, and much more. Meanwhile, catering concessions are preparing to provide guest with high-quality refreshment options.


Equestrian professionals, industry experts, sports fans and their families are looking forward with great anticipation to CHI AL SHAQAB 2023. Given its importance on the global equestrian calendar, as one of just five CHI-accredited competitions worldwide and the only one of its kind in the Middle East and Asia regions, hosting this event is testament to the excellence of Qatar’s premier equestrian center as a venue for top-class equestrian sports. During the weekend, some of the world’s best riders and horses will compete in the Showjumping, Dressage and Para-Dressage disciplines.


With its main Outdoor Arena, an Indoor Arena and a warm-up area, the architecturally stunning Longines Arena – named to reflect its partnership with the iconic Swiss watchmakers – offers the seating capacity to accommodate a total of 10,000 spectators. It has successfully hosted this event for a decade now, along with many other local and international equestrian competitions.


Within the equestrian grounds of Al Shaqab, which extend to an area of almost one million square meters, other world-class facilities will also support the élite riders and horses competing this year. Al Shaqab’s ‘horse hospital’ for example, the state-of-the-art Equine Veterinary Medical Center, provide 24/7 medical support and veterinary services. EVMC has three FEI-certified vets among its team of equine healthcare experts. Off-site, the sports medicine hospital, Aspetar, will provide medical care for the riders.


Among the élite riders to watch out for, at this year’s CHI AL SHAQAB, will be last year’s Showjumping Grand Prix winner, Marcus Ehning from Germany. The field includes Christian Ahlmann (2021 winner), Ludger Beerbaum (winner in 2014 and 2016), and Pieter Devos (2019 winner).


Indeed, the high-quality showjumping roster features four of the current top 10 riders in the FEI world rankings – Harrie Smolders (ranked 4), Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (ranked 7), Maikel van der Vleuten (ranked 8) and Kevin Staut (ranked 10).

In the Dressage events, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel returns to Doha, after winning the Freestyle competition in 2020 and finishing as runner-up last year. The Para-Dressage competition welcomes new riders, as well as previous winners including Pepo Puch (Austria), Kevin van Ham (Belgium) and four-time champion, the Netherlands’ Rixt van der Horst.


Younger ‘rising stars’ who may catch your eye include Jeanne Sadran FRA and Jack Whitaker GBR in the Showjumping, as well as Juan Matute ESP and Evelyn Eger GER in the Dressage events.


In total, 91 world-class riders from 28 countries, including Palestine, will take part in this year’s CHI AL SHAQAB – with riders gathering from nations as diverse as Mexico and Morocco, Lithuania and Japan.


As always, Germany provides a very high-quality team of Showjumpers – including last year’s Grand Prix winner, Marcus Ehning – while Belgium and the Netherlands are traditionally strong in all three disciplines, including the Dressage and Para-Dressage events. Palestine and Lithuania are countries represented at CHI AL SHAQAB for the first time.


Competing for Qatar is Wejdan Al Malki, on her 18-year-old purebred bay Spanish stallion, Mango Jacaro. Watch out for Wejdan in Friday and Saturday’s Dressage competition; Qatar’s leading equestrian achieved 7th place in the same event at last year’s CDI Gran Prix Special CHI AL SHAQAB.


Local fans may also support Qatar’s two competitors in the Showjumping discipline: Faleh Al Ajami and Salmen Al Suwaidi.

Perhaps the most unusual and inspiring story is that of Palestine’s Dressage rider, Diana Al Shaer, who will compete on her 15-year-old Portuguese mare, Unzalee de Massa. Diana was born in Russia, to a Palestinian father who had emigrated there in 1975. She originally competed for the Russian Federation but, after a trip to Palestine in 2017, felt compelled to switch her allegiance. Diana explains:

“When I visited Palestine and saw the conditions in which people live and the difficulties they face, I could not refuse the Palestinian Equestrian Federation's request to represent my second homeland in the international arena. I saw many talented riders there who have a great desire and motivation, but no opportunities. I want to do everything in my power to help, at least by raising the profile of Palestinian equestrian sport.”


Drama is sure to unfold at the Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines. With the competition taking place on Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Saturday 25 February, now is the time to plan your visit for a day (or more) of fun and top-level equestrian sport, at Al Shaqab’s outstanding Longines Arena. Full details and tickets are available now at and






Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines

Among the highlights on the global equestrian sports calendar, the CHI (‘Concours Hippique International’) event at Al Shaqab is one of only five CHI equestrian competitions held annually around the world – and the only event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia regions.

To learn more, please visit



Al Shaqab – A World-Class Facility

Since its establishment in 1992, Al Shaqab’s vision has been to build on Qatar’s Arabian horse heritage and be a leading global center for equine professionals, while providing an engaging experience for the community. Global leadership has not only meant preserving, improving, and promoting the Arabian horse breed, but also encouraging the community in this unique, traditional cultural sport. 


Today, Al Shaqab’s impressive facilities, which are distinctively designed in the shape of a horseshoe, cover 980,000 square meters. With a state-of-the-art Main Arena comprising both an indoor and outdoor venue capable of holding over 5,000 spectators, Al Shaqab is part of Qatar’s growing reputation on the world stage that showcases its ability to host major international sports event at the highest level.


For further details, please visit


Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is a non-profit organization that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF strives to serve the people of Qatar and beyond by providing specialized programs across its innovation-focused ecosystem of education, research and development, and community development.


QF was founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who shared the vision to provide Qatar with quality education. Today, QF’s world-class education system offers lifelong learning opportunities to community members as young as six months through to doctoral level, enabling graduates to thrive in a global environment and contribute to the nation’s development.


QF is also creating a multidisciplinary innovation hub in Qatar, where homegrown researchers are working to address local and global challenges. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and fostering social engagement through programs that embody Qatari culture, QF is committed to empowering the local community and contributing to a better world for all.


For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, please visit:

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