Beerbaum storms to feature victory in CHI Al Shaqab

DOHA, Veteran rider Ludger Beerbaum won the feature event on the second day of the CHI Al Shaqab equestrian championship at Al Shaqab yesterday. Under lights, the German piloted his 16-year-old Chiara 222 to victory to conquer the 1.60m class.

Friday’s competitions were attended by HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee.

Seven combinations qualified for the Jump-Off but only three produced a double clear round. First to go was Belgium’s Pieter Devos with his 11-year-old Claire Z but the pair jumped down two rails. Deusser followed with Calisto Blue and produced a clear round.

Later, Beerbaum beat Deusser’s time with over two seconds, taking a commanding victory as he came home with Chiara 222 in 43.74secs. Dutch Jur Vrieling finished runner-up in the saddle of VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnest NOP in a time of 44.72secs to push Deusser to third spot. Simon Delestre with Filou Carlo Zimequest came second, while Devos completed the top five.

My horse, Chiara 222, has been doing this for 16 years and has a lot of experience here at Al Shaqab itself. She loves it here and I think that counted in my favour. I’m very happy with the result. I’d like to enjoy this moment, but I’m also looking forward to the Grand Prix,” A delighted Beerbaum, who took home in Euros 48,345 prize money, said.

Earlier, Steve Guerdat clinched the 1.50m CSI5* class aboard Hannah. Guerdat galloped to victory with his 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood-mare as the pair stopped the clock in 67.26 seconds. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann came close but had to be content with second placed after coming home in 67.63 seconds with his 9-year-old gelding Que Bueno de Hus. The third place went to Norway’s Geir Gulliksen, who guided VDL Groep Quatro to finish line in 70.82sces

Guerdat said: It was nice to win. It was a nice class. I was quite lucky that a lot of riders were faster than me but had one down. So, I did not have to take too many risks. I managed to save a little bit of my horse’s energy for the Grand Prix and still win a class. It was good for me. I’ve been to Al Shaqab many times before. The facilities are great. It’s very good for the horses, and the ground is good. The organization is perfect.”

In the Dressage CDI 5* Grand Prix earlier in the day, a display of elegance, poise, and style clinched first place for Minna Telde from Switzerland. Telde and her gelding, Isac, achieved the victory with a total points haul of 71.543.

Excited about her win, Telde said: It’s amazing! I’m so thrilled that Isac performed well in this arena where he had shown some tension earlier. But he adapted. He stayed serene and did well and for that I am very grateful. This is my second time at Al Shaqab. The arena is amazing, the stables are very nice and so are the surfaces for the horses � it’s all very horse-friendly.”

The day’s activities started with participants in the Para Dressage competition demonstrating their riding skills based on their grades of disability. Grade 1 winner Katja Karjalainen of Finland, riding Dr Doolitle, was overjoyed with her victory, which was achieved with a personal record performance. I was surprised to come out on top, and of course very happy. It went very well. Al Shaqab is a very cool venue. Everything is easy to find, and this is very important to me as I’m visually impaired.”

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee