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Top riders honoured at Qatar Equestrian Tour gala night

Top riders honoured at Qatar Equestrian Tour gala night


Vinay Nayudu
Doha
The inaugural season of Hathab Qatar Equestrian Tour 2017-2018 came to a conclusion with a gala dinner at the ball room of Mondrian Doha hotel on Tuesday with top dignitaries, equestrian fraternity, media and other guests attending the event.
The top riders, who emerged successful during the six-month long and spread over twelve competition legs of Qatar's first national equestrian championship, were honoured on the occasion.
The Qatar Equestrian Federation (QEF) and Al Shaqab, member of Qatar Foundation, forged a new alliance and launched the new equestrian competition series Hathab for Qataris and residents of Qatar offering a total prize-money of QR1 million.
Just as the gripping competition throughout the series, the award ceremony was also befitting and grand.
Among the winners were Nasser al Ghazali (the Big Tour champion), Saeed Nasser al Qadi (Medium Tour), Ghanim Nasser al Qadi (Small Tour), Jessica Waldon (Dressage Level 1), Mia Kardos (Dressage Level 2), Sheikh Khalid bin Ali al Thani and Abdulaziz Majid al Ghanim (Future Riders).
Nasser al Ghazali, who had to fight tooth and nail till the very end and who emerged triumphant with a three-points margin, was delighted on receiving the honour.
"That was a great end for me and receiving this award," exclaimed the 22-year-old.
"I was not very lucky in a few legs of the series as I missed out on good chances closely. Also in between the championship, my horse fell ill and we had to work very hard to get him back on track. Thankfully, it all went well in the last leg. We had all our concentration on that one and were very lucky to win it," he added.
On Hathab being a great learning experience, Nasser said,"If you want to have riders for international meets, who are on par with international standards, that is what Hathab is. It provides you the platform where competition is tough. And it is not just the riders or the horses... the course designers, management, course lining and the idea to educate everybody about horse riding has been an amazing thing for this sport in Qatar. Hopefully, we will see more new talents in the future as we go to the world level."
Nasser also thanked the QEF and Al Shaqab for all the support."I'm also very happy about the partnership between them and hope for a better season next year," he said.
The 15-year-old Ghanim Nasser al Qadi, who was best in the Small Tour category, said he was proud to receive the award."Alhamdulillah, I'm very satisfied with my achievement. I was on the leader board for almost all the legs of the Tour and I won in the total points, I feel so proud. Hard luck to the other riders they all did great and that's not all. Stay tuned for the next season as the competition will heat up all the more and we are ready for it," he stressed.
England's Jessica Waldon, who has been riding since the age of four and is now based in Qatar and training young riders at Al Shaqab, won the Dressage Level 1 competition and was immensely pleased on being honoured at the function.
"I'm very happy especially for representing Al Shaqab. I am also extremely pleased with the dressage competition in Hathab. Personally, it was a great success for me," said the 23-year-old rider.
"A big thank you to Al Shaqab to allow me to compete and also to my manager at Al Shaqab Mohammed Sultan al Suwaidi (he finished third in the Medium Tour). My congratulations to all the other competitors and to the organisers of Hathab," she added.
Hamad bin Abdulrahman al Attiyah, President, Asian and Qatar Equestrian Federation (QEF), has termed the first edition of Hathab as a success. He pointed out that the championship will be further developed for the better in the next edition.
The awards ceremony, where representatives of the media were also honoured, was followed by a Duo Viola show by German artistes and well received.

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