Dubai: The Gulf News Dubai Cup headlined the second day of the 2013 Dubai Showjumping Championship on Friday, with Marion Hughes taking the honours as one of three Irish riders in the top five. Finishing second at the Emirates Equestrian Centre was Ahmad Hamcho of Syria astride Quintus 81 and he was followed by 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Cian O’Connor in third aboard Unique.
French national champion Michel Hecart guided Quatrin De La Roque to fourth and Ireland’s Michael Duffy rounded out the top five with his mount O’Connell Street.
The class offered prize money of Dh122,500 and serves as the qualifier for the Dubai Showjumping Championship’s prestigious event, the Emirates Airline Dubai Grand Prix FEI World Cup Qualifier, which will be held on Saturday (3pm). A potential 35 riders from the 66 entries that contested the Gulf News Dubai Cup are now eligible to compete for the main championship.
Hughes’ victory was very convincing as she guided Heritage HHS Fortuna to a time of 64.67s with no faults. Runner-up Hamcho was equally impressive as he finished in 66.02s with no faults, well ahead of O’Connor’s third place effort of 71.44s.
The schedule for Saturday’s three classes will be the Dh80,000 Longines Accumulator at midday, the Dh170,000 Emirates Airline Dubai Grand Prix FEI World Cup event at 3pm, and the Dh25,000 Emirates Equestrian Centre Trophy from 6.15pm.
Gates Open at the Nad Al Sheba venue at 11am and entry is free. For more information log on to www.emiratesequestriancentre.com