Sunday, Jun. 9, 2024

Syrian Riders Dominate at FEI Children’s Final

Syrian athletes dominated the podium when Mohamed Jabri took gold and Hadi Nizam claimed bronze at the FEI Children's International Jumping Final in Abu Dhabi last week but the host country finished prominently when the United Arab Emirates' Ayesha Al-Shamsi slotted into silver medal position.  
 

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Syrian athletes dominated the podium when Mohamed Jabri took gold and Hadi Nizam claimed bronze at the FEI Children’s International Jumping Final in Abu Dhabi last week but the host country finished prominently when the United Arab Emirates’ Ayesha Al-Shamsi slotted into silver medal position.  
 
Abu Dhabi also hosted the 1999 Final which, now in its 14th year, held high hopes for 28 young riders aged from 12 to 14 years. Various qualifying competitions had taken place throughout the year in the run up to the big event. From these qualifying rounds 16 talented young riders earned their place in Abu Dhabi to compete alongside 12 young riders from the Gulf Region. The home country had four representatives with other Gulf riders coming from Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The Gulf riders were to come to the competition with 2 horses each, and then a draw would take place for all the horses and riders together. Other countries represented at the four-day fixture included Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia and the United States of America.
 
The ground held up well despite torrential rain and floods in the run up to the start of the competition. HRH Prince Faisal Ibn Abdullah Ibn Mohammed Al Saud was in attendance to see his kindly donated trophy presented to another aspiring youngster. HRH Princess Haya was also in attendance at the event and commented that “As the President of the FEI, I am fully confident that these tournaments will continue to evolve and progress over the course of the years, ensuring further development of the sport through successive generations of well-trained riders.”
 
South America showed early promise with Chilean rider Tomas Munoz finishing 1st and 2nd respectively in the first and second Qualifying Competitions. However the Gulf riders were not to be discounted, with the UAE, Syria and Qatar finishing in the top five of both Qualifying Competitions.
 
The Final Competition, a Table A with a jump-off, featured those athletes who figured in the top half of the standings following the 1st and the 2nd Qualifying Competitions. Of the fourteen who started in the Final, seven youngsters could dream of victory after qualifying for the jump-off but the day belonged to the Syrian athletes, who claimed the gold and bronze medals. Mohamed Jabri aboard Mr Ahmed Hamsho’s ten-year old gelding Al-Abhar clinched the gold medal when he came home clear in 46.77, while his compatriot Hadi Nizam had to settle for bronze after collecting four faults with Sakher, also owned by Mr Hamsho. The gold medalist said it was a beautiful experience to win this title and that  “the championship was very competitive and the fences were difficult to jump but I managed it and I am indeed very happy.”  The host country was however not left off of the podium, as Ayesha Al-Shamsi riding Ograaf d’Adriers produced the only other clear round in the jump-off in 49.55 to secure second place for the UAE. The seven year old bay mare is owned by HH Sh. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.
 
Thirteen athletes took part in the Farewell Competition, a Table A against the clock, open to those not qualified for the Final. The home crowd was elated when UAE rider Madelaine Wilson and Carinio 7 produced a clear round in 52.61 to take the top honours. Second place went to Rosario Diaz of Chile riding Lorraine de Sion (0/57.63) followed by Russia’s Alexy Filippov aboard Oxlinda (0/64.40) in third.

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