By Sports Reporter/Doha
Mubarak Yousuf al-Rumaihi and his favourite mount, the 17-year-old chestnut gelding Vivaldi K, continued their winning run as the pair claimed the top honours in Big Tour Class on the opening day of the HH The Amir’s Sword Equestrian championship yesterday.
At the Qatar Equestrian Federations’ outdoor arena, al-Rumaihi and Vivaldi K dazzled in tandem with the duo dishing out a scorching round with a flying finish in 67.15 seconds. In the 13-field competition, al-Rumaihi and Vivaldi K showed their quality as they were nearly two seconds better than second-placed Saeed Nasser al-Qadi and his ride Daydreamer EC, who came home in 69.01 seconds, Nasser al-Ghazali and 11-year-old gelding Colibri took the final podium spot in 70.12 seconds.
Al-Rumaihi, who wants to represent Qatar at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, has been doing no harm to his ambition with some consistent results at the Hathab National championship.
The 34-year-old, who began riding at age 11, has been on the circuit since 2006. He represented Qatar at the 2010 Asian Games, where he finished fourth in both the team and individual competitions. Al-Rumaihi has also competed at the 2010 World Championships and the 2011 Pan Arab Games, where he won a team silver medal.
Now, al-Rumaihi will be aiming to carry the winning momentum over the next two days, with the feature event for Amir Sword to be held tomorrow, where he will get to test his skills against Qatar’s accomplished Olympians Sheikh Ali bin Khalid al-Thani and Bassem Hassan Mohamed.
Meanwhile, Khalid Hamad al-Attiya emerged triumphant in the Medium Tour 125/135cm class. The Qatar Armed Forces rider galloped with poise and aplomb on 11-year-old gelding Viking D without any faults to complete his round in 63.55 seconds. It was a commanding win for al-Attiya as the next best rider Mohamed Khalifa al-Baker and his 14-year-old mare Arselina were a good four seconds behind, to finish runner-up. Mohamed Saeed Haidan had to rue for the four-second penalty he incurred with Ziezo, which pushed the pair to third spot despite finishing in 64.97 seconds
In the Small Tour 110/120cm class, Khalifa Abdulla al-Khaldi and 16-year-old mare Dusty emerged on top in with a fastest time of 58.29 seconds. Hussain Saeed Haidan (Belucci Van ‘T Vleminkhof) came second in 60.13 seconds, followed by Mohamed al-Ghazali (Maradonna) in 62.72 seconds.
Meanwhile, Asian and Qatar Equestrian Federation president Hamad bin Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said the competition on the first day of the Amir Sword was very strong and was excited with what was in store over the next two days. “We witnessed a good competition between the riders, which shows they are ready to bring their best over the next two days. We have seen a good turnout in this edition of the championship,” he said.
Al-Attiyah said that one of the most important events this year is the convening of the General Assembly of the Asian Federation in Doha on March 6. He expected large presence of the members of the Union for the approval of the statute of the federation. The QEF chief also announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Asian federation and continue his work on the development of equestrian in the continent.
Today, Future Riders will show their potential in 70/85cm and 85/100cm class from 2pm at QEF’s indoor arena. Small, Medium and Big Tour classes will also be held on the second day.
The final day of the championships tomorrow will begin with dressage competitions before the action switches to the marquee event, Big Tour 140/150cm, one round against the clock for the Amir Sword at 2:30pm. The total prize money on offer is QR50,000 with the winner walking away with a brand new car. The Small Tour will start at 4pm while the Medium Tour will kick off at 6pm.
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