The third annual CSI4* Al Shira’aa International Horse Show, will be held at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi on January 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th 2019. As one of the premier championship events on the Middle East’s equestrian calendar, carrying a total cash prize of over €200,000 and boasting five Longines ranking classes, the event is set to attract some of the biggest names in showjumping.
FEI World No.6 Swedish star, Henrik Von Eckermann, who won the show-concluding Longines Al Shira’aa Grand Prix in 2018 on Chacanno, is just one high-profile athlete expected to return to the UAE capital.
“I am very honoured and excited to be returning to Abu Dhabi once again for the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show. It was a super event last year with world-class facilities and organisation and I expect it to be even better this year. I look forward to putting on a world class performance for my fans in the UAE,” said Von Eckermann
Other top international competitors include three-time Portuguese Olympian [2004 Athens, 2012 London and 2016 Rio] Luciana Diniz, Saudi Arabia’s Olympic bronze medalist, Ramzy Al Duhami and his No.8-ranked compatriot, Abdullah Al Sharbatly, Louis Sabino from Portugal, as well as the UAE’s Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum and German rider, Philip Weishaupt among others.
The show, which is held over four days, also features classes for young riders and juniors as well as young horses in addition to four-star competitions. Spectators can watch the action in the main arena and visit the Al Shira’aa Village for free children’s entertainment, food trucks, tack shops and much more.
In an exciting new addition, the show schedule will also feature a Derby class for the first time in the region. Britain’s William Funnell, the 2018 Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby champion will be taking part, bringing a new dimension to the show and an increased level of excitement for the spectators.
Mohamed Ahmed Al Owais, the show’s Sports and Technical Director commented – “The Al Shira’aa International Horse Show grew exponentially in its second year and we are very excited to announce the dates for the third edition, which we anticipate to be even bigger and better”
“While this event is designed to compliment the other shows on the UAE Tour, we also ensure that it reflects the Al Shira’aa ideals of inclusion, professionalism and best-practice in the sport. It is a delight for us to hold an event that is equally as enjoyable for spectators and competitors and offers state-of-the-art facilities for horses.”
In a change to the 2018 event, the Al Shira’aa CSI1* Show will precede the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show. A competition designed to give all levels of riders and horses a chance to compete on the big stage, the programme will see the UAE’s up-and-coming riders compete in 110 and 120cm classes on 6thand 7thJanuary at Al Forsan International Sports Resort.