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Khalid Ibrahim Al Jaber (second left), Director of Sports Affairs Department at Qatar Olympic Committee, speaking during a press conference at Al Shaqab, yesterday. Also seen are Fahad Abdulla Al Hajri (left), CHI Al Shaqab 2013 Media and Broadcast Manager, Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Al Shaqab Director and CHI Al Saqab President and Omar Khalid Al Mannai, CHI Al Shaqab 2013 Director. Photo by: Kammutty VP
Doha: World No.1 Christian Ahlmann of Germany and Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia will lead a galaxy of equestrian stars who are set to participate in the inaugural edition of the Chi Al Shaqab 2013, an international equestrian festival.
The four-day festival will take place from March 27 to 3, at Al Shaqab’s state-of-the-art facilities in Doha, Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation, announced here yesterday.
The Festival, which is to be held under the patronage of H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani and H E Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, will be the first event of its kind in Asia.
As a CHI international equestrian event, Al Shaqab will host competitions in three equestrian disciplines over four days, including show jumping, dressage and endurance.
“We are pleased to be organising this unique international event honouring Qatar’s centuries-old tradition of equestrian excellence. Chi Al Shaqab 2013 is already receiving interest and enthusiasm beyond our expectations in its inaugural edition, and we would see it become a benchmark for all of Asia and a key event in the international equestrian calendar,” said Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab, who announced the event dates at a press conference, said here yesterday.
Shining an international equestrian spotlight on Qatar, Al Shaqab expects participation from more than 25 nations, 170 riders and 300 horses.
The top 30 show jumpers and top 15 dressage riders from the International Equestrian Federation’s world rankings will be invited to compete. Top regional and international teams will also be invited to compete in the endurance race.
Besides top-ranked Ahlmann and Global Champions Tour 2012 champion Tops-Alexander, both who will compete in show jumping event, others who are set to compete in Doha include, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, and Gerco Schroeder of Netherlands gold and silver medallists at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
In dressage, Isabel Werth, winner of five Olympic gold medals will be the star attraction.
An estimated 10,000 spectators are expected over the four days, including special attendance by members of Qatar’s Royal Family and other royal guests from the GCC. THE PENINSULA