Qatar’s rich Al Shaqab show closes with mega cash

Showjumping Grand Prix winner Ludger Beerbaum and Chiara.
Showjumping Grand Prix winner Ludger Beerbaum and Chiara.

Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum has taken out the big showjumping prize on the closing day of Qatar’s CHI Al Shaqab show, riding Chiara to win the €650,000 1.6m Grand Prix on Saturday.

It was Beerbaum’s third time in Doha, after he was third at Al Shaqab in 2013 and second in the Global Champions Tour. “My horse likes the venue. I’ve now come first so you can imagine how happy I am. My horse enjoys the ring, the facilities, the stabling, the warm up area. You don’t find better anywhere in the world. I’m delighted.”

The win was worth €214,500.

In second place was Gregory Wathelet of Belgium riding Sea Coast Forlap. He takes home €130,000, and third placegetter, Belgium’s Nicola Phillippaerts, rode Cortez to win €68,250.

120km winner Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Meadadi and Shabbab.
120km winner Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Meadadi and Shabbab.

• There was also a huge purse on offer for the final endurance competition at the show, with local rider Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Meadadi winning the 120km ride on Shabbab. With a total stake of €200,000, it was the second highest on offer at Al Shaqab.

Of the 26 riders to start the 120km ride, only four completed, and 10 managed to complete the 80km ride from 28 starters.

Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Meadadi said he had prepared for the race for two months. “My horse ran 80km three weeks ago and he was perfect. He was healthy and he had power and again today he gave me what I needed.”

Jassim, who did well in the European Championships in 2011 in France, was thrilled to have a home victory.

“Abroad I want to fly the flag for Qatar, here I won for myself.”

In second place was Abdulrahman Saad A Al Sulaiteen of Qatar on Ymel de la Valiere, with US rider Bilal Bassam Shawqi Al Kharraz third on Fireflash LNW.

Endurance Discipline Manager Rashid Al Jehani said the day started out cold but then warmed up to become “very hot”, which meant several riders withdrew as it became too tough for their horses.

• Denmark’s Princess Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein and Digby won the ExxonMobil Qatar 2014 Dressage Freestyle Grand Prix, taking home  €30,000.

“It’s a fantastic experience to win for the second time! I look forward to come back next year, but with a younger horse to use the opportunity to train it,”  she said.

It was the first trip to Doha for second placegetter Lone Bang Larsen, also from Denmark, who won €25,000 with Fitoul.

In third place was Sweden’s Patrick Kittel with Toy Story. He said: “This is my second year together with Princess Nathalie,  but she beat me again. I hope to have a re-match next year. Actually I am going to challenge both Danish girls next year!”


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