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Asian Games: Saudi showjumpers win team gold

November 23, 2010

Reigning Asiad champions Saudi Arabia put up a slick jumping performance to take out team gold at the Asian Games in China yesterday, ending with only four faults.

Winning Saudi team member Prince Abdullah Moteb Al Saud, riding Mobily A. Obelix. © Miriam Tilli
Riders Ramzy Hamad Al Duhami on Bayard V Devilla T and Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid on Presley Boy both went clear, with Abdullah W Al Sharbatli picking up four faults on Melodie Ardente, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare.

The eight faults by former Olympian Prince Abdullah Moteb Al Saud and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding Mobily A. Obelix was the team's drop score.

Sharbatli, 28, was runner up in the individual showjumping competition at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last month. He punched well above his weight at WEG, being by far the least experienced of the four who jumped off. He rode Seldana Di Campalto in Kentucky and it was the first medal by a Middle Eastern rider at a World Games.

After the second round the teams from Hong Kong and the UAE were equal on 11 penalties, meaning a jump-off was required to decide silver and bronze positions.

Jacqueline Jing-Man Lai and Capone 22, an 11-year-old Danish warmblood, were part of the bronze medal-winning Hong Kong team. © Miriam Tilli
In a tense standoff, Hong Kong buckled under the pressure to end with 24 faults, leaving the UAE team of Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikha Latifah Al Maktoum, Majid Al Qassimi and Ahmed Al Junaibi clear to take silver with just five faults.

The UAE had finished in bronze position behind the Saudi team at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.

"I'm crying because I'm so happy," 2006 UAE team bronze medalist Sheikha Latifa told the Gulf Today newspaper. "When I first learned we had to compete in an extra round, I felt so nervous."

The Hong Kong team comprised Samantha Lam (JC Crunship), Kenneth Cheng (JC Can Do), Patrick Lam (JC Tilburg) and Jacqueline Lai (Capone 22).

Riders and horses from 12 nations are among the 32 combinations who will start in the individual jumping competition, which gets under way on Wednesday, following today's veterinary inspection.

Images below © Miriam Tilli

The winning teams on the podium.

Sheikha Latifah Al Maktoum (UAE) and Kalaska de Semily, a 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion.

Hong Kong team members celebrate their bronze medal.

Ahmed Al Junaibi (UAE) and the 11-year-old Belgian warmblood mare Picobello Wodiena.

Patrick Lam (Hong Kong) and JC Tilburg, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding.

Samantha Lam (Hong Kong) and JC Crunship, a nine-year-old holsteiner gelding.

Sheikh Majid Al Qassimi (UAE) riding Co-Jack, a 12-year-old Oldenberg gelding.

Kenneth Cheng Man-kit (Hong Kong) riding JC Can Do.

UAE team silver medalist Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum riding Dubai's Pride.



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