The President of the UAE Show Jumping Cup Underway
Day one of the President’s Cup got off to a flying start, with the day’s first class, the CSI2* Al Forsan International Sports Resort Cup, clinched by Syrian rider Mohammed Fadi Al Zabibi riding Chanel’s Boy. This dark bay 10-year-old gelding was expertly piloted around the 1.30m course by seasoned professional Zbibi in a super speedy 56.08s, finishing just ahead of his son, 23-year-old Osama Al Zabibi riding Flash Gordon 30, who finished clear in 57.95s to take 2nd place. The UAE’s Saif Awaida Mohammed Alkirbi took 3rd spot on Dincky Toy Z, owned by Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club. Just under half of the class jumped clear, with 31 of the 69 starters finishing on 0 penalties within the time allowed of 84 seconds.
In the Abu Dhabi Sports Council Classic Qualifier, it was a clean sweep of the podium for the UAE, with less than a second separating the top three spots. 1st place went to Mohamed Shafi Mohamed Alremeithi aboard Captur, owned by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, who jumped clear in 22.23s, while 2nd place went to Humaid Abdulla Khalifa Al Muhairi riding Al Shira’aa Stables-owned Caravelli, in the ever-so-slightly slower time of 22.57, a mere 0.34s behind Alremeithi. Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi, who had taken an early lead in this two-phase class, finished in 3rd riding Zadora, owned by Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club.
Class three saw the start of the CSIO5* competition, with Al Shira’aa Welcome Stakes seeing a host of international riders compete for a share of the €28,200 prize pot. 20 out of the 68 starters jumped clear and without time penalties, but it was Portugal’s Duarte Seabra riding Isabel José De Mello’s HHS Washington that finished on top, in 65.11s. Milliseconds behind was Aaron Vale from the USA on I.Adermie R 4, who rode an incredible round ahead of his Longines League of Nations™ class on Sunday. French team rider Olivier Perreau finished 3rd onboard Bresil de Carnaval Santa Rosa in a time of 65.38s. Perreau is also competing in the Longines League of Nations™ representing his native France.
“It’s lovely to be back here in Al Forsan after such a successful show last year. It’s always great to start the week with a win! My horse Washington loves this arena, and I had a feeling today was his day.” said Duerte Seabra of his victory.
Talented junior riders were up next, with 22 starters competing in the CSIJ UAE Equestrian Federation Junior Stakes, showcasing the future generation of equestrian athletes. Emirati rider Abdalla Hamad Ali Al Kirbi took the top spot on Demphis, jumping clear in a quick 56.12s. This win follows a flurry of recent victories for the promising 18-year-old, having secured poll positions on Dion Z in the 7-year-old Young Horses FEI Group VII Final and the Juniors FEI Group VII Qualifier on Demphis in Sharjah last weekend. 2nd place went to Talya Mounajed from the USA on her own Quite van Koekshof, while 3rd place went to Ireland’s Marta Hughes-Bravo on Hhs Fortune, bred by her mother, former Olympian Marion Hughes.
Final honours of the day went to Richard Howley of Ireland riding Zodiak du Buisson Z, who took the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix Qualifier. With speed and precision, Howley, the penultimate rider in this large jump-off class of 22 horses, knew what he needed to do to take the lead. He finished in 38.94s, knocking over 1s off Marlon Modolo Zanotelli’s time. Zanotelli, who had maintained poll position until the bitter end, took 2nd place for Brazil on Like A Diamond van het Schaeck. 3rd place went to Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann riding Iliana.
“Longines takes immense pride in being an integral part of this prestigious event. As the Presenting Partner, Official Timekeeper, and Official Watch of The President of the UAE Show Jumping Cup presented by Longines, we constantly support the finest talents in Show Jumping. Simultaneously, we celebrate the launch of the new Longines League of Nations Series. Here, we will consistently contribute our timekeeping expertise while sharing our core values with the equestrian community – Elegance, Tradition, and Performance.” Longines Regional Brand Manager for the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Patrick Aoun said.