CHI Al Shaqab: Howley, Zodiak Du Buisson Z Shine On Opening Day


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Fawad Hussain | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Ireland's Richard Howley and nine-year-old Zodiak du Buisson Z grabbed the spotlight, winning the CSI 5* - 1.50m feature event on the opening day of the 11th edition of CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines yesterday.

In front of a good number of spectators, the pair displayed a superb show to clock 62.73 secs and claim top honours in the €105,500 contest.

The opening day's closing event produced a tough battle among the top-ranked riders with France's Simon Delestre astride Dexter Fontenis Z, securing second position with a time of 63.55.

The combination of another Irishman Mark Mcauley and 11-year-old Grs Lady Amaro claimed third position with a time of 63.71.

“I am delighted, absolutely over the moon. My horse is in great shape, he is really growing into this level so easily and week after week he impresses me more,” Howley said after bagging the title.

“To beat two fantastic horses and Simon and Mark today, it gives me great belief for the future that my horse can win at the Grand Prix level. I couldn't be happier with my horse. Of course, this gives me huge confidence for rest of the weekend.”

Austrian star Max Kuhner in company with bay gelding EIC Julius Caesar was fourth with German Christian Ahlmann completing the top five after partnering with Otterongo Alpha Z, a 10-year-old chestnut stallion.

As many as six showjumping events were contested at the Longines Outdoor Arena while the Indoor Arena at state-of-the-art Al Shaqab hosted the exciting para dressage events yesterday.

Riding 12-year-old Dancing Wolf O.L, Saudi Arabia's Olympic star Abdullah Alsharbatly excelled in the CSI5* . Special Two-Phase . 1.45m class, earning the top prize in the €28.200 event after finishing the course with a flawless 30.25.


The podium winners of CSI 5* - 1.50m feature event were honoured by Sport Director CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines Khalid Sanad. Pictures: CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines.

Spain's Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, who was on 11-year-old gelding d'Orient Batilly, was the runner-up after registering a time of 31.86, followed by France's Olivier Perreau after he combined with Bresil de Carnaval Santa Rosa for a time of 32.38.

Minister of Sports and Youth H E Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani also attended the inaugural day's proceedings and awarded the podium winners of €28.200 CSI3* - 1.45m class. Jordan's Ibrahim Hani Bisharat in company with Happyness earned the title after a perfect routine in 62.80, edging Emanuele Gaudiano by fractions of a second. The Italian also displayed a spectacular performance with Crack Balou, settling for a second place with Saudi Arabia's Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan (Kwikly) finishing third after registering a time of 63.61.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's Ali Al Khorafi, who teamed up with Crowny, reigned supreme in CSI3* - 1.35m after a fine show in 55.46, overshadowing the brilliance of Qatar's Faleh Suwead Al Ajami, who finished second with Steyburn after a perfect 55.82. Another Qatari rider Mohammed Saeed A M Haidan, astride longtime partner Obama completed the podium with a penalty-free round of 59.98.


Richard Howley in action with Zodiak du Buisson Z.

The newly-introduced CSI1* and CSICh classes at CHI Al Shaqab yesterday witnessed young Qatari riders producing impressive performance.

Abdulla Khalid Al Julandani, who rode Armageddon Z won the CSI1* Special Two-Phase - 1.20m event, while Amer Hamad Al Mansoori teamed up with Levant van de Veldhoek to top the CSICh - 1.05m in 28.61. The CSICH will serve as a qualifier for children competing in the Group VII (MENA Region) for this year's final.

The para dressage riders also showcased spectacular show with Claire Overweg (NED), Fiona Howard (USA), Maud Haarhuis, (NED) and Kate Shoemaker (USA) notching up victories.

The CHI A Shaqab 2024 has attracted a record number of participants as a total of 189 riders representing 37 countries are taking part in the prestigious event.

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