By Sahan Bidappa/Doha
Bassem Hassan Mohammed has been blazing a trail for Qatar. The 26-year-old rider is the first Qatari to win a Global Champions Tour Grand Prix event, when he rode Victoria to victory in Monaco last year. So it’s quite obvious that there are high expectations from him.
Last night, Bassem once again proved why he is one of the best bets for Qatar, after he won the main and final event of the Qatar International Show Jumping Championship.
At the Qatar Equestrian Federation arena, Bassem and his partner The Toymaker, a bay colt, were in a class of their own as they convincingly decimated the competition to win the Two Rounds, 145-160 cm event, which carried a total prize money of QR744,000. Bassem himself walked away with QR186,000.
He was 18th to get off the blocks, with Ibrahim Hani Bisharat of Jordan, astride Bowie Z, already setting an impressive timing of 46.61 seconds albeit with four faults.
But Bassem managed a round in 56.26 seconds with mere two faults.
Having finished second to pocket QR148,800, Bisharat capped off a memorable championship with four podium finishes. Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan of Saudi Arabia was third for a prize of QR111,600.
For Bassem, the win was significant as the points that he accrued in Doha will count for the individual Olympic qualification.
Bassem has already sealed a Rio 2016 spot in the team event, as he was a part of the Qatari team emerged victorious at the second leg of the Furusiyya 2015 series in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in February this year.
“I am really happy to win. It was very important to show that we can win. I am thankful to HE Sheikh Joaan, Qatar Equestrian Federation and its president Hamad bin Abdulrahman al-Attiyah and my team for their support,” said Bassem.
He conceded there was pressure to win in front of his home fans. “Of course there is pressure to do well at your home event. But the horse did well today and that’s what matters,” said the 2014 Asian Games Team Gold medallist.
The Qatari said he was looking forward to the next few months of competitions, as he prepares for the Olympics, where he hopes to win gold with Team Qatar.
“Over the next few months I am participating in lots of events in preparation for the Olympics. I don’t know if we are going to win, but certainly we are not going to Olympics just to compete. We are going there to win,” Bassem added.
Bassem was not the only winner for Qatar yesterday. Salmen Sultan al-Suwaidi emerged triumphant in the Table A, Against the clock 130/135 cm event, guiding Cascano home in 62.06 seconds. Bassem had finished third in the event, behind Kuwait’s Noora al-Qaoud (Annalita).
It was a double podium for Qatar in the day’s opening event, Table A, Against the clock 120 cm. Saeed Nasser al-Qadi (Jessico 4) and Salman Mohammed al-Emadi (Lucky Lady) finished second and third respectively. Kuwait’s Ali al-Khorafi (Ungarin) cantered in at 51.64 seconds to take the first place.
Earlier, Bisharat had won his second event of the championship, with Brown Sugar once again in prime form in the One Round + Winning Round 145 cm. The victory was so convincing that, the pair was more than three seconds clear of second-placed Abdullah Alsharbatly (Bling Bling 2) of Saudi Arabia, who came home in 40.68 seconds. Two-time Global Champions Tour winner Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia came third with Clinton in a time of 41.33.
Two Rounds, Art.222.214.171.124 + 4.3 – 145-160cm
1. Bassem Hassan Mohammed (Qatar) The Toymaker. Time: 56.26 secs. Prize money: QR186,000
2. Ibrahim Hani Bisharat (Jordan) Bowie Z. Time: 46.61 secs. QR148,800
3. Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan (Saudi Arabia) Time: 48.61 secs. QR111,600
One Round + Winning Round, Art.276.2.1, 2.3 – 145cm
1. Ibrahim Hani Bisharat (Jordan) Brown Sugar. Time: 37.43 secs. Prize money: QR29,625
2. Abdullah Alsharbatly (Saudi Arabia) Bling Bling 2. Time: 40.68 secs. QR23,700
3. Edwina Tops-Alexander (Australia) Clinton. Time: 41.33 secs. QR17,775
Table A, Against the clock, Art. 238.2.1 -130/135cm
1. Salmen Sultan al Suwaidi (Qatar) Cascano. Time: 62.06 secs. Prize money: QR5,062
2 Noora aL Qaoud (Kuwait) Annalita. Time: 63.00 secs. QR4,050
3 Bassem Hassan Mohammed (Qatar) Paddys Darco. Time: 66.29 secs. QR3,037
Table A, Against the clock, Art. 238.2.1 -120cm
1. Ali Al Khorafi (Kuwait) Ungarin. Time: 51.64 secs. Prize money: QR2,812
2. Saeed Nasser al-Qadi (Qatar) Jessico 4. Time: 54.73 secs. QR2,250
3. Salman Mohammed al-Emadi (Qatar) Lucky Lady. Time: 56.35 secs. QR1,687
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