Top Saudi showjumpers set to raise bar for 90th National Day celebrations

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Wed, 2020-09-23 05:04

JEDDAH: More than 50 Saudi riders and 100 horses from throughout the Kingdom will on Wednesday take part in a showjumping championship to mark the country’s 90th National Day.

The event has been organized by Al-Mutabagani Equestrian Center, the first Saudi club of its kind, with support from the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF) and the Ministry of Sport.

A national junior showjumping competition on Sept. 24 and 25 will follow the main event.

The center has always supported healthy activities and has been involved in a number of initiatives to empower youth, particularly women, training several showjumpers to represent Saudi Arabia at international events over the past 35 years.

Dr. Mahfouz bin Talib, head of the SAEF’s technical committee, said the tournament would be held amid strict coronavirus disease (COVID-19) precautionary measures to ensure the safety of riders, arbitrators, and horses.

Participating riders, all members of the SAEF, could enter six horses in the championship provided they did not exceed three horses in the first half of the event, Talib added.

Arwa Al-Mutabagani, an accomplished Saudi showjumper and chair of the center’s organizing committee, said fans of the sport could follow the event on social media at @TrioRanchKSA.

She added that cash prizes totaling SR82,550 ($22,000) would be up for grabs for the National Day championship and junior competition with big name Saudi showjumpers Dalma Malhas, Khaled Al-Sharbatly, and Abdullah Al-Rajhi taking part in the main event.

Mazen Al-Sahyan, the SAEF’s international referee and designer and a former showjumper with the Saudi Equestrian National Team, stressed the importance of encouraging young people to engage in equestrian sports.

Al-Mutabagani Equestrian Center will also host a grand national showjumping tournament from Oct. 1 to 3 with prizes amounting to SR45,000.

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