Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has announced the top riders set to participate in CHI Al Shaqab 2016, taking place from 2 – 5 March 2016 in Doha, Qatar.
As the only event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia, the fourth edition of the prestigious equestrian competition will see more than 130 riders from more than 20 countries competing in Show Jumping CSI 5* and CSI 3*, Dressage CDI 5* and Para-Dressage disciplines.
Confirmed entries for the Show Jumping category include the world’s highest ranked show jumper, Scott Brash, along with world-ranking riders Abdullah Alsharbatly, Edwina Tops- Alexander, and, our very own, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid.
World Number One Show Jumper, Scott Brash, said:
I am very excited to be once again participating in CHI Al Shaqab in Qatar, particularly the same year that the Olympics are taking place. It is always thrilling to compete with riders of the highest calibre, and I look forward to competing in one of the best equestrian facilities in the world.’
Hayley Watson Graves, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Patrik Kittel are among the top riders set to compete in the Dressage category.
Featuring Para-Dressage for the second year running, top riders confirmed for this discipline include Pep Puch, Nicole Den Dulk and Rixt van der Horst.
CHI Al Shaqab 2016 is one of only four international annual equestrian competitions that showcase more than three equestrian disciplines in one event. By hosting events such as this, Al Shaqab supports Qatar Foundation’s Vision 2030, which includes the aim to promote Qatar as a premier international sports destination.
Created in 2013, CHI Al Shaqab is one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions, one of only four of its kind in the Middle East and Asia. And, in its scope and dimensions, it is comparable to just three other events worldwide.
Every year, CHI Al Shaqab welcomes the world’s top-ranking riders, including regional and local competitors in various equestrian disciplines. The event generates enormous interest from horse lovers around the world, who have come to admire the strong bond between riders and their horses.
Through the organisation of this competition, Al Shaqab strives to cement its position as a leading centre in equestrian activities on both a regional and global level, and seeks to bolster Qatar’s position as a preeminent sports hub across Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region.
First competition – 2013
The first edition of CHI Al Shaqab took place from 27- 30 March 2013 in Qatar, a ‘first of its kind’ event for the Middle East and Asia.
The competition included three equestrian disciplines spread over four days including show jumping, dressage and endurance.
Top-ranked riders from Qatar, the GCC and around the world competed in the event. These included world number one Christian Ahlmann; Steve Guerdat and Gerco Schröder, the London 2012 respective gold and silver medallists in individual jumping; and Isabell Werth, winner of five Olympic gold medals.
CHI Al Shaqab 2014
Held from 10-15 March 2014, CHI Al Shaqab 2014 cemented Al Shaqab’s position at the core of the equestrian world.
The competition saw 160 athletes representing 27 countries, competing for 1.46 million Euros in prize money in four disciplines. These categories comprised of Jumping, Dressage, Endurance and Vaulting.
The event proved inspirational for an already enthusiastic local community, offering an educational experience about the diverse range of equestrian arts. These achievements are key to Al Shaqab’s mission to raise global awareness about equestrian arts, horse breeding and care.
German rider Ludger Beerbaum won every jumping round, finishing first with a time of 37.02 seconds to secure a prize of 214,500 euros.
However, the local audience was also delighted to witness Qatari rider Hamad Nasser Al Qadi take first place, with 61:08 seconds, in the fifth jumping category.
CHI Al Shaqab 2015
Held from 2-7 March 2015, CHI Al Shaqab 2015 further bolstered Al Shaqab’s enviable reputation for excellence throughout the equestrian world.
With 233 riders competing in five disciplines including Jumping, Endurance, Vaulting, Dressage, and – for the first time in the tournament’s history – Para-Dressage, the tournament attracted a large crowd including VIPs, members of royal families, thousands of spectators, and an international television audience.
Australian rider Edwina Tops Alexander won first place in the show jumping grand prix, while Qatari rider Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani triumphed in show jumping with his horse Al Hawajer.
The tournament showcased the excitement and spirit of peak-level sport, while sharing Qatar’s enduring love for the Arabian horse and its illustrious legacy.
The hugely enjoyable experience, aided by an exceptional level of performance and organisation, contributed to CHI Al Shaqab proving to be more than a sports tournament. It encapsulated the mission of Al Shaqab, positively combining competition, the community and culture to great effect.
For detailed schedule, visit Marhaba’s Events Calendar.