The United Arab Emirates has pulled off a historic accomplishment following the national team’s debut at a prestigious international sporting event.
Entering the record books, the UAE show jumping team has won the coveted Longines Challenge in the FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final 2017 held in Barcelona recently.
The UAE qualified for what’s billed as the sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, which was narrowed down from a record 50 nations to just 18 qualifiers.
Beating more established nations on their first outing in the Challenge Cup, the UAE team put on a dominant display against experienced national teams, including the UK, Brazil, Ireland and Spain.
Leading the way in the competition, Abdullah Mohammed Al Marri was the first to ride and finished with two time faults, followed by Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, who completed a perfect clear round, putting the UAE in a strong position.
When the third rider, Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri, jumped clear with just one time fault, the UAE had already secured the Challenge Cup after only 16 riders, and before the team’s fourth and final rider, Sheikh Majid Al Qassimi, even had the chance to ride the course.
Commenting on the historic win, Major General Dr Ahmed Al Raisi, chairman of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, said: “This unforgettable victory for the UAE in the Challenge Cup once again proved that the will and belief of a nation can overpower the strength of individuals as they put on a dominant display against traditional jumping heavyweights.”