UAE’s Muhairi reigns supreme at Big Tour Final in Riyadh - GulfToday

UAE’s Muhairi reigns supreme at Big Tour Final in Riyadh


UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi aboard Cha Cha Cha competes in the Big Tour Final at the Diriyah Equestrian Festival in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s first international equestrian competition, the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, wrapped up its first weekend with nail biting competition and incredible performances from local, regional and international jockeys vying to book their ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2020 FEI Equestrian World Cup in Las Vegas.

Walking away as the overall victor of the evening was UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi who was crowned champion of CSI4*-W category in the Big Tour Final presented by the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian equestrian Mohamed Talaat came in first in the medium class as he claimed his third medal in the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, while Jordanian Sara Al Armouti picked up her second honour of the festival as she finished third in the same class.

Day three of the festival kicked off with the Small Tour Final (1.20m) presented by Nova, which witnessed Saudi equestrian Abdullah Al Rajhi take first place with 72.72 seconds in the first round and an impressive 34.63 seconds in the jump-off, which granted him the golden trophy for the class.

Norway’s Morten Alexander Djupvik came in second on the podium riding his stunning Gelding ‘Watch Me’, which marked his second honour of the competition with a time of 36.01 seconds.  He was followed by Saudi equestrian Bader Mohammed Alfard in third place, racking up his Diriyah Equestrian Festival honours to an impressive three.  

The second round of the day saw Egyptian equestrian Talaat emerge victorious in the middle-class international jumping competition (1.45m) with a time of 36.71, while ‘Italian Stallion’ Natale Chiaudani jumped his way to another second-place position with a time of 38.53.

Jordanian jockey and the only female winner in the history of Equestrian in Saudi Arabia, Armouti came in third, adding to her first-place victory the day before in the international jumping competition against the clock (1.20m). Closing the action-packed weekend was the grand finale which saw 18 international equestrians compete for the Big Tour Final (1.40-1.60). The final round undoubtedly left the audience at the edge of their seats as the talented equestrians raced against the clock, breaking not one but two speed records.

The first record was broken by Saudi equestrian, DEF host and and Olympic bronze medal winner Duhami with 34.79 seconds, which was immediately surpassed by Emirati rider Muhairi and his stunning mare Cha Cha Cha with an impressive 34.67 seconds, slicing Ramzy’s prior record by a mere .12 of a second.

The fever doesn’t stop here! The first ever international equestrian competition is set to return next weekend, from the Dec.19-21. Saddle up and stay tuned as the Kingdom witnesses equestrians from across the globe compete to secure a qualification at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the Equestrian World Cup and continue to place Saudi Arabia on the map as a state-of-the-art equestrian host.

The Diriyah Equestrian Festival attracted champions from across the world to compete across the six days of competition.

Big names whop represented Saudi Arabia include Abdullah Al Sharbatly, who won gold at the Asian Games in both 2006 and 2010,  Abdel Rahman Al Rajhi, who competed in the World Cup finals last year, and won a silver medal during the 2014 Asian Games, 2018 winner Khaled Al Mobty and of course bronze Olympic medalist and DEF host, Duhami.

The Diriyah Equestrian Festival is part of the wider Diriyah Season, an epic month of iconic sports events such as Formula E, top-class men’s tennis and a World Heavyweight Title fight – The Clash On The Dunes. Known as the home of kings and heroes, the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site Diriyah will also stage performances from some of the biggest music artists on the planet, including Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris.

Diriyah Season is an unmissable set of the international sports and entertainment events, happening at the historic city of Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sports fanatics, entertainment seekers, foodies and shoppers, are invited to a month of energy, excitement, elegance, and memorable moments as the world comes to Diriyah!

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