Doha (QAT), FEI Dec 24, 2011: ARAB GAMES 2011, The host nation took double-gold in Dressage as well as the Individual Jumping title while the United Arab Emirates proved unbeatable in Endurance and Saudi Arabia scooped the team Jumping honours at the 12th Arab Games staged in Doha, Qatar from 6 to 23 December.
This was the first time for Qatar to host the event which is staged on a four-year cycle and embraces 24 different sports. Khalifa International Stadium was the main competition venue, but the equestrian activities took place at the Al-Shaqab Arena and at the Mesaieed Endurance Course, with keen rivalry in all three disciplines.
Equestrian sport joined the Arab Games at Rabat, Malta in 1985 and subsequently visited Damascus, Syria in 1992, Beirut, Lebanon in 1997, Amman, Jordan in 1999, Algiers, Algeria in 2004 and Cairo, Egypt in 2007. Jumping has been included on the schedule since 1985, with Endurance joining the programme in 1999 and Dressage in 2007. FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, won individual Jumping bronze at Damascus in 1992.
Qatari riders lived up to expectations when taking Dressage Team gold ahead of the Lebanon in silver medal position and Iraq in bronze. Ground Jury members Raphael Saleh (FRA), Juan Carlos Campos (ESP), Fouad Hamoud (ALG), Hans Christian Mathiesen) DEN and President, Carlos Lopes (POR) all gave their highest mark to the experienced Rashid Al Marri who has competed in two Asian Games, and who partnered his new ride, Paso Double, to a score of 68.784.
In Endurance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made a clean sweep of the medals, repeating the success they enjoyed in Cairo four years ago and the supremacy they displayed when taking gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA last year. A total of 30 riders, representing Morocco, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Libya and Oman, took part in the 120 km race, but only UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman fielded full teams while Libya sent out three riders. Only two teams completed with the compulsory three finishing scores, and the UAE’s combined time of 14:12:54 left them convincing winners ahead of the silver medallists from Oman, who were more than five hours slower.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia claimed Jumping team gold, but it was no walk in the park as the competition came down to a four-nation jump-off against the clock in which Egypt clinched the silver ahead of Qatar in bronze while the UAE finished just outside the medals. And the host country turned the tables in the very last equestrian event of the Games when, in the tussle for the Individual title today, Qatar’s Ali Al Rumaihi and Ravenna pinned Saudi Arabia’s Kamal Bahamdan (Noblesse des Tess) and Prince Faisal Al Shalan (Aphrodite van het Texelhof) into silver and bronze.
Dressage Team: GOLD – QATAR 66.901, Mabruk (Abdulla Al Marri), Argentino (Ahmed Al Badi), Brentano VD Zuuth (Mohammed Al Marri), Paso Doble (Rashid Al Marri); SILVER – LEBANON 58.153, Rythm (Carla Kattouah), Silvan (Georges Bitar), Primo (Malih Dana); BRONZE – IRAQ, Absolut (Nooruldeen Al Azzawi), Louis Cristal (Mustafa Al Hussaini), Advocat (Ali Shbri).
Dressage Individual: GOLD – Brentano VD Zuuth (Mohammed Al Marri) QAT 70.843; SILVER – Paso Doble (Rashid Al Marri) QAT 68.990; BRONZE – Mazurka Grafin (Farah Al Khoji) UAE 66.667.
Endurance Team: GOLD – UAE 14.12.54, Indian Eskalonik (Mohammed Ahmad Al Subose), Lourizon Frost (Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri), Muhannad (HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum), Shardell Prince Valiant (Yousef Ahmed Alblooshi); SILVER – OMAN 19.49.42, Majan (Khatar Al Maamari), Musaiter Muscat (Ibrahim Al Maqbali), Bashaer (Al Khalil Al Nairi), Jammar (Abdullah Said Salim Al Siyabi).
Endurance Individual: GOLD – Shardell Prince Valiant (Yousef Ahmed Alblooshi) UAE 04:40:24; SILVER – Muhannad (HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) UAE 04:40:25; BRONZE – Dudley Dick Te (Sultan Shames Al Maamri) UAE 04:41:41.
Jumping Team: GOLD – KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA 116.17, Aphrodite van het Texel (Prince Faisal Al Shalan), Senorita (HRH Prince Abdullah Al Saud), Noblesse des Tess (Kamal Bahamdan), Van Hoeve (Khaled Al Eid); SILVER – EGYPT 118.55, Duc de Mariposa (Abdelkader Said), Splendor (Ahmed Tolba), Raging Bull Vangelis (Nayel Nassar), Jument Dufee (Karim El Zoghby); BRONZE – QATAR 122.14, Sieshof’s Abraskas (Sheika Ali Al Thani), LB Casanova (Mubarak Al Rumaihi), Logo (Faleh Al Ajami), Ravenna (Ali Al Rumaihi).
Jumping Individual: GOLD – Ravenna 323 (Ali Al Rumaihi) QAT; SILVER – Noblesse des Tess (Kamal Bahamdan) KSA; BRONZE – Aphrodite van het Texelhof (Prince Faisal Al Shalan) KSA.