Dubai: The Dubai Show Jumping Championship CSI-W 2007 will be commencing at the Emirates Equestrian Centre today.
The exciting three-day event, which will be hosting the World Cup qualifiers for GCC countries, starts this afternoon with gates opening at 3pm. The first show jumping class begins at 4 pm.
The Championship will consist of mainly show jumping, which will be divided into National and International classes.
However, there will also be daily equine entertainment events: included for this afternoon is a dressage display, stunt riding and a routine performed by the Dubai Mounted Police.
Participating in the international classes will be riders from various GCC countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Syria and UAE.
Exuding cautious optimism about her chances in the competition the UAE's Shaikha Latifa Al Maktoum said: "This year the show will be better for me as I have had more experience since last year's Maktoum Challenge. I have also been training for the past few months in France."
UAE's Nadia Taryam was also confident of a good showing. "I have a new horse for this years competition Ghiorsal from Germany who, I'm hoping, will take well to this years Championship," she said.
The first class of the day will be a national class, riders of all nationalities residing in the UAE will be allowed to compete in this category. Teams from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman and Sharjah will be pitting their skills against each other.
Mohammad Abdullah Ketait of the Dubai Team said: "I think that having the national classes in the Championships gives the younger, less experienced national riders the chance to experience a large, international event and therefore improve their riding for the future."
There will be two international classes today: the Welcome Stakes commence at 6pm. This class carries a total prize fund of Dh40,000. Shortly after this will be the second international class: a competition jumped over two phases. Riders will enter the second phase if they have incurred zero penalties in the first.
National Class No 1 starts at 4pm.
Total prize money Dh5,000
Welcome Stakes: 6pm start (90 minutes)
Total prize money Dh40,000
International Class No. 2
Two phase: 8 pm start (90 minutes)
Total prize money Dh50,000