Equestrian tournaments have become a custom within the country as the heritage stretches back to 1992.
The Commercial Bank CHI (Concours Hippique International) Al Shaqab, presented by Longines, will set off on Thursday with 91 world class riders from 28 countries competing for top prizes.
Expected to be three days of grade A action, teams from Palestine and Lithuania will debut in the premier CHI event alongside riders from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands,
Competing for Qatar is Wejdan Al Malki, on her 18-year-old pedigree bay Spanish stallion, Mango Jacaro.
Last year, the country’s leading equestrian claimed 7th place at the CDI (Concours de Dressage International) Grand Prix Special.
In addition, Qatar’s young riders, Faleh Al Ajami and Salmen Al Suwaidi, will perform in the showjumping discipline alongside participants from Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Morocco.
Al Shaqab’s Event Director, Omar Al Mannai, expects this year to be the most extensive version of this contest’s editions, as several activities will operate in conjunction with the main events.
“We will deliver a festival of extraordinarily high-quality sport, as well as cultural, educational, and family activities. It has been tremendously encouraging to see the event grow bigger and better with every passing year – and this has been a credit to everyone involved,” Al Mannai said at the pre-event press conference.
Al Shaqab’s equestrian heritage stretches back to 1992, with the Father Amir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s mission of wanting to preserve the Arabian horse breed.
Dating back to the country’s pastime as Bedouins utilising the horses for travel, economy, and battle, times have changed as now the breed is famed for its stunning beauty and talents.