Last week the UAE showjumping team, made up of Al Marri riding James VD Oude Heihoef, Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi riding Chacolu, 19-year old Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi, riding Dalida van de Zuuthoeve and Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri riding G’s Fabian placed second in the Qatari hosted Nations Cup. The event was also the qualifying Olympic round for the countries from the Middle East and Africa, and the result secured the team a coveted place at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The event saw the UAE leading at the halfway point with eight-faults, with Saudi close on their tails with nine and Qatar with 10.
In round two, the UAE came into their own, with World of Showjumping online noting, “the UAE’s Abdullah Mohammed Al Marri and James VD Oude Heihoef and Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi and Chacolu each had just a single fence down before their most junior team member, 19-year-old Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi, picked up 10 faults with Dalida van de Zuuthoeve. That would be the drop score when Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri was last to go with G’s Fabian who returned with a total of nine and the final UAE tally would be 25 faults, plenty good enough to take that coveted second spot that will bring them to France next summer.”
Abdullah Mohammed Al Marri speaking to press after the event said, “It was our mission to make history for our country, we never qualified for the Olympics as a team before. It’s been a long road, nearly seven or eight years planning and we failed the first time in Morocco so we were really desperate to qualify today.”
“We were so poor that day. Everything about our performance was awful and I think we really had to think again about a lot of things. We felt we had let people down and we were absolutely determined to not feel like that again.”
“We had a lot of support from our Federation, our stables, our sponsors, the whole contingent from the UAE are supporting us, believing that we could do it today. We are so happy that we achieved it!”
“A lot of hard work has been put in by our team of athletes and everyone else over these last few years. We have so much support from a lot of people, not least HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Al Shira’aa which is developing all aspects of equestrian sports in our country.”
“This time we wanted to put our country on the map!”
The showjumpers were transported to Doha with Equitrans. Managing director and co-founder David Robson said of the shipment, “ it’s always a real honour when the national team puts their trust in us to get their horses to such an important and prestigious event.”
“Of course we rose to the occasion and ensured every aspect of the movement was designed to minimise stress and promote equine well-being, this meant the horses arrived ready to perform, and boy, they certainly did!”
“We’d like to offer huge congratulations to the UAE team, their trainers, sponsors and supporters, qualifying for the globe’s biggest equestrian event has certainly been a journey for everyone involved, and in many ways now they have secured their place in Paris, a new and very exciting journey is only just beginning, enjoy it all, you’ve most certainly earned it!”
Equitrans is the transporter of choice when it comes to moving high profile showjumpers into and out of, the region. This season the company became the strategic transport partner for Al Shira’aa Show, one of the UAE’s most high profile jumping events. Our seamless service and experienced grooms quickly earned the company high praise from international names such as, Joe Whitaker, William Funnell and Jessica Burke.
If you would like more information on our transport options, flights and stable to stable services, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.