22 December 2011 - Saudi Arabia’s Jumping team – Saudi Equestrian – yesterday won the Jumping team gold medal at the 2011 Arab Games in Doha, Qatar. The Saudi Equestrian team in Doha comprised four riders – HRH Prince Abdullah, HH Prince Faisal, Kamal Bahamdan, and Khaled Al Eid – and their respective horses – Senorita, Aphrodite van het Texelhof, Noblesse des Tess, and Van Hoeve.
All four Saudi Equestrian riders went clear in the Team Jumping Round 1 and at the end of the first stage they were joined at the top of the leader board by Qatar, Egypt, and UAE, who also accrued no team penalty points. The Qatari rider, Mubarak Al Rumaihi, put one fence down; however, the competition’s rules dictate that team’s take into account their three best scores.
In the Team Jumping Round 2, Saudi Equestrian’s efforts were again equalled by the teams from Qatar, Egypt and UAE – all four teams again managing to accrue no team penalty points, which meant that the teams were tied at the top. The competition therefore progressed to a jump-off, which was to ultimately decide the gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
Despite the best efforts of their challengers, the combined time of Saudi Equestrian’s three best riders was more than two seconds faster than that of Egypt’s, and they deservedly secured the gold medal.
HRH Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Saudi Equestrian, commented: “It was an incredibly competitive jump-off, which makes winning the team gold medal even more satisfying. The team has proved that Saudi Equestrian is very much up to the challenge. We are delighted and incredibly proud of their efforts.”
Saudi Equestrian team Trainer, Stanny van Paesschen, commented: “I am incredibly proud of the guys; they gave everything, and their hard work and dedication throughout the course of this year has again paid off. Their teamwork has been exemplary and they deserve all of the success that comes their way.”
Saudi Equestrian will compete at next week’s CSI4*-W Olympic Qualifier in Doha, Qatar (27 – 30 December), where they are expected to officially qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be held in Greenwich, London (27 July – 12 August).
The six riders of the Saudi Equestrian team are: Khaled Al Eid, Ramzy Al Duhami, Abdullah Al Sharbatly, Kamal Bahamdan, HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Miteb, HH Prince Faisal Alshalan.
Photo caption: Saudi Equestrian's team (from right to left): Kamal Bahamdan, HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan, HRH Prince Abdullah Al Saud, and Khaled Aleid celebrate on the podium after winning the gold medal in the equestrian team final at the Arab Games in Doha on Wednesday night.