Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation, has announced its first annual CHI competition, which will take place 27 to 30 March 2013, at Al Shaqab’s state-of-the-art facilities in Doha, Qatar.
Under the patronage of HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani and HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 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 organizing 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,” commented Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab, who announced the event at a press conference on 5 February along with Khalil Ibrahim Al Jaber, Director of Sports Affairs Department at Qatar Olympic Committee, Omar Khalid Al Mannai, Event Director, and Fahad Abdulla Al Hajri, Media and Broadcast Manager.
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.
Located within Qatar Foundation’s Education City, Al Shaqab’s 980,000 square meters of world-class facilities will serve as host for the event. 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 of honour from the GCC.
CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 will not only draw the local and international horse world, it will also be a family event with activities for the general public. In addition to witnessing some of the highest quality equestrian riders in the world compete, visitors will have access to an international exhibition and multiple cultural and equine events. The spectator plaza will comprise more than 40 tents filled with vendors, food courts, game zones and child-friendly areas. Cultural events throughout the festival will also include equine demonstrations, as well as pony and carriage rides for the whole family.