By Sports Reporter/Doha
The three-day HH Emir’s Sword Festival will begin today at the Outdoor Arena of the Qatar Equestrian Federation (QEF). The prestigious event carries total prize money of QR1mn with more than 50 Qatar riders vying for the honours. The competition will be held in three categories – the Small Tour (100/115cm), the Medium Tour (125/135cm) and the Big Tour (140/150cm). Today, the event starts at 4:00pm.
Last year’s winner Sheikh Ali bin Khalid al-Thani and his Qatar teammate Bassem Hassan will not participate this year as the duo are competing in FEI championships in Europe. “We expect a stiff competition among the young riders as this is the Emir’s Sword Festival week,” said QEF President Hamad bin Abdulrahman al-Attiyah.
“However, this year’s edition will not feature the defending champion Sheikh Ali bin Khalid al-Thani, who won the Emir’s Sword last year. Sheikh Ali and Qatar’s top rider Bassem Hassan are away in Europe competing at top international events. These two riders are battling for FEI Classification points and are out of the country,” he added.
Ali al-Rumaihi, Qatar’s Olympic Games rider, said: “The championship this year will see a large participation from the national riders in all the three categories. I wish them all the success this week. This championship has seen some memorable performances and we expect something similar from Qatari riders this week.”
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