The domination of Saudis at equestrian events across the UAE last week was seen even within the confines of the show jumping arena where Abdullah Al Sharbatly turned up the big winner of the feature CSI 2* Sustainable City Grand Prix. Looking to build towards the four-day CSI 5* The President of the UAE Show Jumping Cup at Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi, starting today, Al Sharbatly showed ample class winning the main event last Saturday, after nailing the Two Phases classes of the CSI 2* Big Tour and CSI 2* Medium Tour categories a day earlier. Coincidentally, Saturday marked the inaugural running of the GCC Cup, a Prestige Flat race involving Purebred Arabians bred in the GCC, won by Saudi Arabian-based Al Khalediah Stables’ top runner Mubasher Al Khalediah.
Riding Woulon L in the CSI 2* Grand Prix (Two Rounds), Al Sharbatly was one of three riders to go through the course without fault. He completed the ride with a time of 42.78s, which was three-tenths of a second quicker than second placed Shane Breen of Ireland, who rode Colmar through the course in 43.08s. Breen’s Irish countryman David Simpson placed third aboard Foudre F with a time of 44.18s. In the Two Phases class of the CSI 2* Big Tour (140cm), Al Sharbatly and Quinlan conquered the rest of their rivals with a time of 26.21s. Greek rider Dimitri Natsis on Durein was second with a time of 28.01s, while Khalid Hilal Al Khatri of Bahrain placed third aboard Sierra with a time of 29.28s.
In the CSI 2* Medium Tour (140cm) Two Phases event, Al Sharbatly and Carrera found the going tough but still managed to win with a time of 24.55s, which was only 0.19s better than second placed Syrian rider Hisham Ghrayb, who clocked 24.64s on the back of K.abrax. In third place on the back of Elise was Arif Ahmed Jassim of the UAE with a time of 25.13s. The only Emirati rider to win was Mohammed Shafi Al Remeithi, who clinched success in the One Round with Jump-Off category of the CSI 2* Medium Tour with Venus De Vy. They were the only pair to register a faultless ride and that made the difference as they clocked 45.35s. Second placed Ghrayb on K.abrax and Tina Lund third on Beyond Fellow Dancing K were quicker with times of 33.49s and 38.72s respectively, but each collected four penalty points, which relegated them to spots behind Al Remeithi.
The Accumulator event, the last event of the competition, was won by Natsis aboard Durein with a time of 52.21s. Lund of Denmark and Trevor Breen of Ireland were placed second and third after being clocked at 53.52s and 54.11s respectively. All top three riders scored an identical 65 points during their ride. Fourth placed Emirati rider Naser Khamis Ali Saeed on Energy Al Baryia also scored 65 points but missed out on a podium spot after being timed at 60.02s. Lund won One Round with Jump-Off event in the CSI 2* Small Tour aboard Beyond Fellow Dancing K with a time of 31.87s, finishing ahead of Ghrayb, who registered a ride of 32.80s on K.abrax. Trevor Breen on Corenter Va was third with 33.34s. Ghrayb may have found himself luckless for most of the competition, but the Syrian rider started the tournament well taking top spot on the podium in the opening Two Phases event within the CSI 2* Small Tour class. Riding K.abrax, he managed to win with a time of 22.97s, finishing ahead of Al Sharbatly who was timed at 23.62s on Quinlan. Youssef Sawas of Syria was third with 24.35s on Elton.