Doha: The magnificent Longines Arena at Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation, is all set and ready to welcome the world’s top riders and horses, when Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines 2022 gets under way from the 24th to the 26th of February.
A star-studded contingent of 95 riders from 24 countries, and 146 elite competition horses from around the globe, has already touched down in Doha – primed to dazzle and impress the crowds as they compete for glory in Al Shaqab’s signature event, which will be organized for the ninth time at Qatar’s iconic equestrian destination.
The much-anticipated international event will provide equestrian sport lovers with a unique opportunity to be a part of the strongest and only championship of its kind in the Middle East and Asia region, as they witness three days of unparalleled action and entertainment unfold in the Olympic disciplines of showjumping, dressage, and para dressage.
At a press conference held at Al Shaqab on February 22 to officially launch this year’s event, Omar Al Mannai, Event Director, Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines, and Commercial Manager, Al Shaqab, said: “Once again, Al Shaqab is delighted to welcome the world’s best riders and horses to Qatar. They love the amazing facilities, training conditions and competition set-up here, and it shows in the number of champion riders who keep returning for CHI AL SHAQAB.”
This year’s rider’s list is filled with the names of the biggest stars in equestrian sport. Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, ranked world number one in the latest FEI Longines Jumping Rankings, headlines the event entries. Last year’s five-star Grand Prix winner, Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, returns in the hunt for further honors, and will be joined by a host of CHI AL SHAQAB champions and top-ranked riders, including Great Britain’s Scott Brash, Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, and Belgium’s Pieter Devos. Flying the flag for Qatar will be Wejdan Majed Al Malki, who will be participating in the dressage category, and the showjumping trio of Hamad Nasser Al Qadi – fresh off his second successive Emir Sword title triumph – Faleh Suwead Al Ajami, and Nasser Al Ghazali.
Al Mannai said: “To be able to see the top athletes compete in a truly world-class competition is an incredible opportunity for the equestrian community here in Qatar, and for sport lovers in general. It has been tremendously encouraging, and satisfying, to note the event grow bigger and better with every passing year, regardless of the challenges faced.
“This is a credit to everyone involved with Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines, including the participants, fans, Organizing Committee and other team members. Special mention must go to the event sponsors, who have shown their commitment towards supporting equestrian sport in Qatar.”
Commercial Bank is the Title Sponsor, Longines is the Presenting Partner, and ExxonMobil Qatar is the Main Sponsor.
Joseph Abraham, Group CEO, Commercial Bank, said: “Commercial Bank is pleased to play its part in Qatar’s sporting success story and to support Qatar’s national vision of being a world-class sports hub through its sponsorship of this premier equestrian competition.”
Hussein Ali Al-Abdulla, EGM & Chief Marketing Officer, Commercial Bank, said: “I’m delighted that Commercial Bank will once again be the Title Sponsor of CHI AL SHAQAB. We’re looking forward to being a part of a truly exceptional equestrian competition. Commercial Bank appreciates the importance of sports in the social and economic development of Qatar, and is committed to supporting Qatar’s vision to be an international sporting hub.”
Saleh Al Mana, Vice President and Director of Government and Public Affairs, ExxonMobil Qatar, said: “We’re excited to be part of this year’s CHI AL SHAQAB as a main sponsor and to continue our support for Al Shaqab and its programs and events. Our partnership with Al Shaqab is inspired by the Qatar National Vision 2030 and driven by a commitment to prepare young people for a rapidly changing world by instilling the values, motivation and confidence they will require to meet future challenges.”
Al Shaqab is also proud of its long-term association with Longines, which is the Presenting Partner of CHI AL SHAQAB.
Al Mannai said: “This relationship is underscored by the name of the competition venue, with the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab representing the perfect location for the world’s best riders and horses to come together and compete for the ultimate honor of being crowned a champion at CHI AL SHAQAB.”
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee