The first edition of CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 is set to kick off today at AL SHAQAB’s state-of-the-art facilities at Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development in Doha, Qatar.
Thousands of spectators are expected to flock to AL SHAQAB over the four days, including special attendance by members of Qatar’s Royal Family and other royal guests of honour from the GCC.
The first day will feature three showjumping competitions including the first round of the Jumping CSI 5* Grand Prix, which will serve as a qualifier for the FEI World Equestrian Games to be held in Normandy, France in 2014. Top riders, Steve Guerdat (Sweden) and Gerco Schroder (The Netherlands), individual gold and silver medallists at the London 2012 Olympics, will be among the starters.
“It is with great pride that I can announce the launch of CHI AL SHAQAB. Hundreds of hours have gone into preparations for this event and I am proud of my team at the CHI Local Organising Committee for realizing the first step in our ambitions for AL SHAQAB,” said CHI AL SHAQAB Event Director Omar Al Mannai. “Today we are reviving what has long been a passion for equestrianism in Qatari heritage, and are transforming our traditions into a foundation for our future success as a sporting nation.”
Under the patronage of HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AL SHAQAB and HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of AL SHAQAB, CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 is the first event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia. As a CHI international equestrian event, AL SHAQAB is hosting competitions in three equestrian disciplines over four days, including show jumping, dressage and endurance.
Top riders from the Arab and international equestrian worlds are participating including Steve Guerdat from Switzerland and Gerco Schroder from The Netherlands, the reigning Olympic individual gold and silver medallists respectively as well as the Saudi equestrian team who won a bronze medal during the London 2012 Olympics.
The event has not only drawn top FEI officials, international riders and horses it is also serving as a family event with activities for the general public. Families and members of the community are invited to witness some of the highest quality equestrian riders in the world compete and 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.