Qatar unveils new league ‘Hathab’
10 Oct 2017 - 9:58
Rizwan Rehmat | The Peninsula
The Qatar Equestrian Federation (QEF) and Al Shaqab yesterday joined hands to launch a new 12-leg series aimed at encouraging young riding talent in the country to scale new heights in showjumping.
Called the ‘Hathab’, the opening round of the QR1m league kicks off at Al Shaqab this week with competitions set to be held in four categories, the organisers confirmed yesterday.
“Hathab will provide a structured competition which will ensure continuity in organising local equestrian competitions for a number of months in one go,” Event Director of QEF, Ali Al Rumaihi, an Olympian who represented Qatar in the Rio Olympics last year, said.
“It will also be the first time that a points system will be implemented with defined participants for each class of competition.
“In addition, prize money will be awarded to horse owners in order to encourage horse ownership and more Qataris to be involved with the sport,” he added.
The Rio Olympian said male and female riders will be allowed to compete together.
“We have had tremendous response from young female riders wanting to take part in competitions,” he said
“Basically the vision for ‘Hathab’ is to be a national series of equestrian competitions to inspire Qatar’s next generation of international champions,” Al Rumaihi added.
“This will be a series for local riders to improve and become international competitors. This will be the perfect platform to achieve that goal,” he said.
Commercial Manager of Al Shaqab Omar Al Mannai said Al Shaqab is keen to take equestrianism to the next level by providing all technical assistance.
“There will be a total of 12 competitions in the series which will be held either at Al Shaqab or Qatar Equestrian Federation premises. We will have seven events at Al Shaqab and five at QEF’s Outdoor Arena,” Al Mannai said yesterday.
“We will be using the event to engage the community enough local sponsorship and encouraging local entrepreneurship by providing food and beverage sales opportunities,” he said.
“More importantly, Qatari trainees will also be engaged to help in various functional areas to provide them with the necessary experience to organise future events of a similar nature,” he added.
“The results of the competition will be used in the selection process of riders to represent Qatar in future international competitions,” Al Mannai said.
“In the Futures Riders Programme we will have competitions in two classes - showjumping and dressage,” he added.
“Based on how the league unfolds, we may increase the number of dressage competitions. I would like to add that FEI rules and regulations will be applied during all the competitions,” Al Mannai said.
“The series will be broadcast on Al Kass Sports Channel as they are our media partners. We will also have a ‘Hathab’ programme run simultaneously to promote the series,” he said.
“We are not just hosting the series for competition sake alone. We will be monitoring the performances of the referees during competitions. Every aspect of this amazing sport will be addressed with intentions of improving as we stage the league,” Al Mannai added.