By Sports Reporter/Doha
A total of 88 riders from 23 countries are set to sizzle during the Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines event, which will take place at the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab, member of Qatar Foundation, from tomorrow till Saturday.
The world-class international equestrian competition, which Al Shaqab is organizing for the seventh time, will see riders compete in the Olympic disciplines of showjumping, dressage, and para dressage.
CHI (Concours Hippique International – International Equestrian Competition) is the official title awarded by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) to international equestrian competitions with three or more equestrian disciplines. Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines is one of only five CHI competitions worldwide and the first and only equestrian event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia (Mena) region.
German showjumper Daniel Deusser, currently third on the Longines global rankings, headlines the impressive list of entries. Other showjumpers competing include Sweden’s Peder Fredrickon, ranked number five, Belgium’s Pieter Devos, ranked number six and the winner of last year’s CSI5* Grand Prix in Doha, as well as Olympians Edwina Tops-Alexander (Australia), and Scott Brash (Great Britain).
Qatari riders taking part are Bassem Mohamed, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics and won the 2017 LGCT Doha leg Grand Prix at Al Shaqab, Faleh Suwead al-Ajami, and Rashid Towaim Ali al-Marri.
At a press conference yesterday to officially launch the event, Omar al-Mannai, Commercial Manager, Al Shaqab, and Event Director of CHI Al Shaqab, said: “Al Shaqab has achieved its goal of developing an equestrian competition that other organisers aspire to and talk about. It underscores Qatar’s ability to organise major sports events. This year is the first time we have Commercial Bank as the event’s title sponsor and we are honoured to have them on board.
“We are also very proud of our association with Longines, who will be the Presenting Partner. Our long-term relationship with Longines is further cemented by the Al Shaqab Arena being renamed as ‘Longines Arena’. And, of course, once again we have ExxonMobil on board as Main Sponsor, and we greatly appreciate the support they have shown to Al Shaqab over the years.”
Commenting on para dressage as a part of CHI Al Shaqab, al-Mannai said: “This is the fourth 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. These are great role models who are sources of great inspiration to the physically impaired. We look forward to seeing Qatari riders participating in this discipline in the future.”
Al-Mannai said CHI Al Shaqab was an event for all, in keeping with Al Shaqab’s role within the community of Qatar. “The event does not cater only for lovers of equestrian sport. We also want to ensure that all spectators enjoy and experience the festive atmosphere. Thus, besides cafes and coffee corners, we also have a dedicated entertainment zone offering fun and educational activities for children of all ages.”
For the convenience of spectators, Al Shaqab is providing a shuttle service from the Al Shaqab metro station on the Green Line to the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab, to facilitate easier access. The service will run at 10-minute intervals over all three days of the event.
Tickets for Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines, including exclusive VIP packages, are now available online at https://www.q-tickets.com/ or through the Al Shaqab website (www.alshaqab.com).
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