Abu Dhabi: The UAE Team will be stepping into the Al Forsan International Sports Resort for the CSIO 5-star President of the UAE Showjumping Cup and the FEI Nations Jumping Cup keeping in mind the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier in Morocco in October.
The four-member team, comprising of Olympic rider Shaikha Latifa Al Maktoum, HH Ruler of Sharjah Cup Grand Prix winner Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Al Shira’aa Grand Prix winner Abdullah Al Marri and Nadia Taryam are all keen to make the most of the opportunity at home.
Shaikha Latifa will be on board Cobolt, Nadia Taryam will ride Cortado and Abdullah Al Muhairi will be ontop Cha Cha Cha. Al Marri has two horses to choose from - Sama Dubai and James VD Oude Heihoef and he will decide on the day of the event which one to ride.
“The objective of every country is to qualify for the Nations Cup final which for me is like the Champions League in terms of football. However, this time, the Nations Cup finals in Barcelona in October is clashing with the Olympic qualifier in Morocco, only a week separating the two competitions,” said Abdullah Al Marri, officer at the Dubai Police.
“The Olympics is once in four years and that’s where we will be heading to, perhaps, leaving our second team to compete in the Nations Cup, should we qualify,” said Al Marri, adding that Olympics berth was their priority and from the form of their horses and riders they have a good chance to qualify in the both individual and team.
The UAE has qualified for the Nations Cup final two years in succession and won it in 2017. They had beaten a host of global big-hitters including that year’s European Champions Ireland and Brazil who finished second and third respectively.
Team UAE, who also qualified in 2018 alongside Saudi Arabia, will renew their rivalry with Ireland and also face tough competition from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Egypt.
The event is held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and organised by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation working alongside the FEI and Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The Cup will also feature classes for children, and juniors, as well as exciting five-star classes for the international stars of the sport.