Doha: Qatar’s Olympic rider and pride in showjumping, Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani and his favourite mount First Devision once again showed their true colours on Saturday to clinch the Grand Prix event of the Qatar International Showjumping Championship with an impressive finish at the Qatar Equestrian Federation’s brightly lit open arena in Al Rayyan.
Sheikh Ali and other winners were honoured by Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani.
Sheikh Ali and First Devision were a perfect combination as they scaled obstacles with aplomb and superb speed to beat a field of final four riders ((from the total 13) in the second and final round of the World Cup qualifying Two Rounds FEI Art. 2126.96.36.199 & 273.4.3 (140-160cm) class.
“Last year too I had won this championship. I’m very happy,” he exclaimed from his saddle. “My horse did amazingly well. He’s a Superstar. I been winning with him for a while now, including being sixth at the Olympics. Though this was too easy for him but to win is always special.
The super show overshadowed another Olympian Edwina Tops-Alexander’s challenging effort. The Australian had to be content with the second place.”I’m very happy. I’ve been riding with him (INCA Boy Van T Vianahof) for the fourth tour now and this was my first Grand Prix with him and I couldn’t be happier. I’m also happy that Sheikh Ali won. He deserved it,” said a smiling Edwina.
Ali al Khorafi on Cheril, riding under the FEI flag, was third in 53.57secs but carried four faults. Earlier another Qatari, Bassem Hassen Mohammed continued with his fine form winning the Art. 276.2.1, 2.3 (145cm) class on his bay gelding The Toymaker.