Team UAE produced an incredible performance to win the Longines Challenge Cup on their first ever appearance in the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping on Friday night at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona.
Beating several of the world’s leading showjumping nations including Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy and Spain, the team comfortably won one of the most prestigious events in world showjumping to ensure a Top 10 ranking in the FEI Nations Cup Jumping and their first ever major international trophy.
Led out by Abdullah Mohammed Al Marri, who boasted a fabulous clear round with a two-point time penalty, Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi and Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri both produced impressive clear rounds to ensure victory.
This meant that Sheikh Majdi Al Qassimi who had led the team out in the qualifying round did not need to ride since Team UAE had already won the competition with their three faults – leaving them six faults clear of the recently crowned European champions from Ireland.
H.E. Mariam Mohammed Saaed Hareb said: “What a fantastic performance at the biggest show jumping team event in the world! The team have made the UAE proud! Their hard work combined with the generous sponsorship and support of Shira’aa Stables and H.H Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa Al Nahyan for our elite training camp has made this victory.”
Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri was delighted after his team’s performance, adding: “We worked really hard over the past year having this event in mind. This has been our best show.”
Al Hajri also gave thanks to Team UAE’s sponsors: “This victory is the least we can give to Al Shira’aa Stables and all our sponsors for their great support.”
“It was incredible to shine in such a noble venue and prestigious event,”, Abdullah Mohammed Al Marri added.
“The rider thanked his skilled coach Karl Schneider who expertly lead him around the course and orchestrated his brilliant round.”
Chef d’Équipe Karl Schneider was incredibly happy and proud of his team and revealed his surprise after such an unforgettable performance: “We did not expect this result today. The team have worked exceptionally hard and deserve to enjoy this wonderful moment”.
Speaking to FEI following the UAE win, Princess Haya, Former FEI President and wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, added: “I’m so thrilled, so proud of this success – after all the hard work they’ve invested over the years they really deserved this!”
The final results of the Challenge Cup 2017 were as follows:
Know more about Sport360 Application