The world’s best riders and horses are primed to put on a thrilling display of power and grace at CHI Al Shaqab, which will take place from tomorrow till Saturday, at Al Shaqab, member of Qatar Foundation. CHI stands for Concours Hippique International or ‘Equestrian International Competition’, and the spectacular CHI Al Shaqab will see 91 riders and 139 horses from 23 nations participate in the event, which Al Shaqab is organising for the sixth time.
They will compete in the Olympic equestrian disciplines of Showjumping, Dressage, and Para Dressage during CHI Al Shaqab - the only equestrian competition of its kind in the Middle East and Asia region.
Several top-ranking athletes from both Qatar and around the world will be competing for the highly coveted titles on offer for three days.  They include Sheikh Ali bin Khalid al-Thani (Qatar), Bassem Mohammed (Qatar), Julien Epaillard (France), Emily Moffitt (UK) Pius Schwizer (SUI), Daniel Deusser (GER), Edwina Tops-Alexander (Aus) and Ben Maher (UK).  
The Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF) General Assembly will take place at Al Shaqab, with Hamad bin Abdulrahman al-Attiyah, president of both the Qatar Equestrian Federation and the Asian Equestrian Federation, standing for re-election.
Al-Attiyah said: “I would like to extend my deep gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani the Father Amir, who laid the foundation for the development of equestrian sport in Qatar. I would also like to thank HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, Chairman of CHI Al Shaqab and President of the Qatar Olympic Committee. CHI Al Shaqab is the first and only equestrian event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia region.
 “I would also like to extend my appreciation to Al Shaqab for hosting outstanding riders in this great facility and for working in cooperation with the Qatar Equestrian Federation. The results are already bearing fruit – besides encouraging them to aspire towards higher goals, there has been a marked increase in the quality of our riders.” 
About AEF’s general assembly meeting, al-Attiyah said: “The meeting of the Asian Equestrian Federation, which is happening along the sidelines of CHI Al Shaqab, is a very important addition to the agenda, as the elections will be held for the important positions such as that of president and vice-president. The close co-operation between the Qatar Equestrian Federation and AEF is also very important. While our senior riders have come a long way, the upcoming young riders will benefit greatly from this partnership. 
“The goal of the Federation is to train young boys and girls to the highest possible level of horse riding. We are also looking to support  them financially and provide training camps. In addition to  showjumping, we aim to train our young riders in the discipline of dressage – a discipline that follows a certain rhythm - as it is quite popular at the Asian Federation level.”
Omar al-Mannai, CHI Al Shaqab Event Director and Al Shaqab Commercial Manager, said: “Al Shaqab is extremely proud to be organizing CHI Al Shaqab for the sixth time. This prestigious and world-class equestrian event has continued to grow in terms of popularity and success since the first CHI Al Shaqab was held in 2013.
“CHI Al Shaqab has placed Qatar on the world’s equestrian map, and Al Shaqab’s successful organising of the event has boosted Qatar’s status as an international sports destination. The event also showcases Al Shaqab as a premier international equestrian competition venue, capable of attracting the world’s top-ranking riders in three Olympic equestrian disciplines.
Commenting on Para Dressage as a part of CHI Al Shaqab, and the ability of Al Shaqab as a venue to accommodate the discipline, al-Mannai said: “Para Dressage is a discipline that allows for fair competition and creates the opportunity for riders of all skills to achieve their goals in equestrian sport. There is a demand from this segment of our population to incorporate Para Dressage in our event.  This is the third year Al Shaqab will be including this important Olympic discipline in the event and our facilities are geared to meet the needs of the participants.
“Some of the world’s best riders are in this category. This includes a high-level performer from Saudi Arabia who has competed in the past. These are great role models who are very inspiring. We look forward to seeing Qatari riders participating in this discipline in the future.”
The Hathab Series, which is aimed at improving the standard of horse riding among Qatari youth, will be part of CHI Al Shaqab. Ali al-Rumaihi, Hathab Event Director, said: “This series, which targets the development of the next generation of equestrian champions, will have its 9th round at CHI Al Shaqab. The riders will be inspired by being in the presence of world-class athletes from Qatar and around the world.”
Also standing for re-election at the AEF General Assembly is Badr al-Darwish, who is also the Secretary-General of the Qatar Equestrian Federation. Al-Darwish said: “As Doha will host the AEF General Assembly at Al Shaqab, it will be the focus of Asian equestrian sport.”
To ensure an ongoing festival atmosphere of fun and entertainment, Al Shaqab’s venue is already open to the public ahead of the start of CHI Al Shaqab tomorrow, and will remain so until the end of the event on March 9. An exciting indoor and outdoor Entertainment Zone offers an array of fun activities for children to enjoy, including pony rides, magic and circus shows, gaming areas, interactive video and virtual reality games, and F1 and horse simulators.
Other provisions include a food court and coffee corners. A latte art competition will see the winner crowned on March 6 and claim the prize-money of $10,000. The competition has been boosted by the presence of Jibbi Little, a latte art champion from Australia.  VIP and regular tickets for CHI Al Shaqab are available on the Al Shaqab website,
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