Al Shaqab Showjumping Competition setting the foundation for a healthy equestrian ecosystem
Doha, 10 January 2020 – Final preparations are underway for the Al Shaqab Showjumping Competition, which will be conducted by Al Shaqab, member of Qatar Foundation, on January 10 and 11, at the Al Shaqab Indoor Arena. The vision behind the event is to create a self-sustaining equestrian environment that supports riders, individual horse owners, and the local horse community, and, eventually, making Qatar a global equestrian hub.
Mohammed Sultan Al Suwaidi, Manager, Equine Education Department at Al Shaqab, said: “The Al Shaqab Show Jumping Competition is very significant as it is being organized with a long-term objective to further promote the equestrian ecosystem in Qatar and foster the equestrian heritage of the nation.
“The number of Qatari riders and individual horse owners has been growing at a healthy pace over the last few years. The overall direction charted by the Qatar Equestrian Federation (QEF) and Al Shaqab, is to push the new generation to the next level, wherein they can begin supporting themselves. While encouraging individuals to own and compete with their own horses, it is also important to continue conducting outstanding horse shows and to provide a healthy local market to buy and sell horses as well as equestrian-related products. It is equally essential to offer riders and individual owners greater challenges by organizing more competitions held at international standards with significant prize money. The prize money will encourage interested individuals to further invest in their love for equestrian sport. This approach will promote the community even more, as horse riding is an expensive sport and horses require high maintenance.
“At Al Shaqab, we work really hard with our riders training them to reach international levels of equestrian sports. Once they reach this level, they need to compete against the top riders from QEF, the Gulf, and other countries. By conducting events like the Al Shaqab Show Jumping Competition, we inspire our riders, offering them opportunities to improve their skills while expanding their knowledge. As a result of the competitions and camps we have been conducting, we are able to see steady growth in international participation. Such international involvement brings in even better revenue, thus helping to extend and expand the local equestrian market. Our aim is to make Qatar an equestrian hub at a global level – one which attracts the participation of top riders. With the facilities and competencies that are currently available in Qatar, this is an achievable goal.”
Al Shaqab will conduct two showjumping competitions this year, and the objective is to make it an annual feature. A total prize money of QAR 270,000 will be given away for each event. The upcoming competition will follow along the lines of the Longines Hathab – Qatar Equestrian Tour in terms of classes, class-titles, etc. The ensuing competition, scheduled to be held in March, will be different in terms of criteria, categories, class-titles, and challenge levels. Community involvement being high on its agenda, Al Shaqab seeks to find gaps in the equestrian scene within the community and works towards closing them.