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World-class equestrian at CHI Al Shaqab 2020 begins today

World-class equestrian at CHI Al Shaqab 2020 
begins today

Vinay Nayudu
The magnificent Longines Arena at Al Shaqab will come alive from Thursday with a big action marking the start of Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines event.
The world-class international equestrian competition, which Al Shaqab is organising for the seventh time, will see riders compete in the Olympic disciplines of showjumping, dressage, and para dressage.
A total of 88 riders from 23 countries have arrived and fans can expect a thrilling weekend of equestrian.
German showjumper
Daniel Deusser, currently third on the Longines global rankings, tops the impressive list of entries. Other showjumpers competing include Sweden’s Peder Fredrickon (ranked number five), Belgium’s Pieter Devos (No. 6 and winner of last year’s CSI5* Grand Prix in Doha), Olympians Edwina Tops-Alexander (Australia), and Scott Brash (Great Britain).
Qatari riders who will be seen in action are Bassem Mohammed, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics and won the 2017 LGCT Doha leg Grand Prix at Al Shaqab, Faleh Suwead al Ajami, and Rashid Towaim Ali al Marri.
Also featuring during the championship will be a competition for riders at the Internations Camp from all over the world.
The Longines Hathab National series will also form part of the three-day show including Small Tour, Open and Big Tour class. There will also be a competition for children and an Arabian Horse Show on the final day (Saturday).
All in all a packed three-day affair is expected to wow the crowds in all aspects of equestrian from dressage, para dressage to the horse show.
Providing details of the prestigious event in the Olympics year, Omar al Mannai, Event Director & Member, Supreme Organising Committee, Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines, said, “Since CHI is for Olympic events of equestrian, it gives our riders the chance to compete and excel alongside the world’s best and gain experience and learning. We have some of our top riders from Qatar participating and we wish them the very best and hope that they would be successful. We also have riders from Kuwait and wish them all the success too.”
On the preparation front, Mannai said, “We have ensured all needed arrangements. As a former rider I have looked at what needs to be catered to a rider’s needs. From the turf of competition to accommodation, the knowledge and experience has been put to use to ensure the championship runs smoothly and efficiently.
“We also have great support from Qatar Foundation. This year we are also using facilities of Qatar Foundation for accommodation,” he added.
Alejandro Berdegue, Sport Coordinator, Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab, informed that moving horses from overseas to Qatar has been a huge operation. “We had three different cargos on three flights within six hours of difference of Qatar Airways to transport the horses and it was all smooth and safe. The organisers here have a great team and vets for the horses. The venue of Al Shaqab is also the very best.”
A large turn-out of people is expected on the three days of competition and various provisions have been made including free shuttle service at ten-minute intervals from Al Shaqab Metro Station to Longines Arena Al Shaqab for all fans and families.
“The entire championship will also have family-oriented entertainment including cultural shows and performances. Cafes and restaurants around the periphery of the competition arena have also been put up. Our reliance on a large area for spectators will encourage them to come and enjoy. There will be raffle draws, prizes, coupons and gifts from Al Shaqab,” informed Mannai.What is CHI?CHI (Concours Hippique International – International Equestrian Competition) is the official title awarded by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) to international equestrian competitions with three or more equestrian disciplines. Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines is one of only five CHI competitions worldwide and the first and only equestrian event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia (Mena) region.ScheduleThe Schedule (Feb 27-29)
12noon-3.45pm: Para Dressage (CPED13*): Indoor Arena
1.30pm-2.15pm: Al Shaqab Internations Camp: Outdoor Arena
3pm-5pm: Showjumping Two Phases 1.45m (CSI5*): Outdoor Arena
5.45pm-8pm: Showjumping Against the Clock 1.55m: Outdoor Arena
6pm-8.40pm: Longines Hathab Dressage Level 1 & Level 2: Indoor Arena
9am-11am: Longines Hathab Small Tour 1-1.15m: Outdoor Arena
9.45am-12.45pmcTypeface:> Para Dressage Individual Test (CPED13*): Indoor Arena
1pm-3pm: Longines Hathab Medium Tour 1.20-1.30m: Outdoor Arena
3pm-6pm: Dressage Grand Prix Test (CDI5*): Indoor Arena
3.45pm-5.15pm: Showjumping Against the Clock 1.50m (CSI5*): Outdoor Arena
6pm-6.45pn: Al Shaqab Competition for Children 1.00m: Outdoor Arena
7.30pm-9.30pm: Showjumping with Jump-Off (CSI5*) 1.60m: Outdoor Arena
8.30am-9.15am: Dressage Grand Prix Special Test (CDI5*): Indoor Arena
10.25am-12.15am: Longines Hathab Open Class 1.15/1.25m: Outdoor Arena
10am-1.30pm: Para Dressage Freestyle Test (CPED13*): Indoor Arena
1.30pm-2.45pm: Longines Hathab Big Tour 1.30/1.45m: Outdoor Arena
2.15pm-4.45pm: Dressage CB CHI Al Shaqab Freestyle Presented by Longines: Indoor Arena
3.30pm-4.30pm: Showjumping Table C 1.45m (CSI5*): Outdoor Arena
5.10pm-5.25pm: Arabian Horse Show: Outdoor Arena
5.30-8pm: CB CHI Al Shaqab Grand Prix presented by Longines 1.60m: Outdoor Arena