Hamcho Saves Best for Last in AED 98,000 Emirates Airline Two Phases Class

 Dubai, UAE, January 26, 2017 – The three-day Dubai Show jumping Championship CSI*** - W (World Cup Arab League) opened on Thursday with Ahmed Saber Hamcho (SYR ) taking top honours in the featured class, the AED 98,000 Emirates Airline Two Phases.

The competition saw a total of 30 participants, including 23 international entrants from 16 countries.

Hamcho was one of nine challengers who advanced to the second phase of the competition, and he was the last to ride the course, which he claims gave him the advantage, and allowed him to better the effort of Andres Penalosa of Colombia with a time of 39.20.

“It is always easier when you are last to go, because you can see what the others did, and this helped me to victory and I am really pleased. I have won this class two years ago, and last year I had the chance to win but I couldn’t, so it was really important for me to be successful this time.”

Second placed Andres Penalosa of Colombia clocked 40.45 while UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi came in third guiding Citronella Z through the course in 44.35

Al Muhairi says he is pleased with his horse “I am happy because this is a new horse, and I wasn’t expecting such a good performance. Overall though, as part of the UAE team, we always wish to be first, and in the Grand Prix, I will not be satisfied with third, I want top place.”

 A regional highlight in the Arab League Show Jumping calendar, the Emirates Equestrian Centre is proud to host top-class show jumpers from around the world. The stakes are high, with a total prize money of AED 723,000 on offer across three days of competition.

The showpiece of the Championship is the Emirates Airline Dubai Grand Prix FEI World Cup Qualifier. With prize money of close to AED 250,000 on offer, it provides local riders with the opportunity to earn valuable qualification points for the Longines FEI World Cup of Showjumping and also the World Equestrian Games 2018.

These games are one of the key targets for the Dubai Show jumping team, as it opens the doors for Olympic qualification as well.

The opening Class of the day – The Dubai Equestrian Club Welcome Stakes, featured 40 contestants and was a tightly fought affair, with 23 competitors going into a Jump Off against the clock.

Defending Champion David Will of Germany looked like he was going to repeat his 2016 performance as he led the jump off, only to be beaten at the very end by the final contestant, Jordan’s Ibrahim Bisharat aboard Virus.

Bisharat bettered Will’s time by almost three seconds, for a winning 38.64sec. Speaking later the Jordanian said: “I didn’t watch what David did, but I asked before I went in, and I had an idea of how he did, and then I just went for it and gave it everything I had and the horse responded well too, but I didn’t think I was so much faster than him. I am very happy with the win.”

David Will had to settle for second clocking a time of 41.29sec, while local star, Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi was very close in third, guiding Feline S in a time of 41.64.

First held in 2007, the Dubai Show Jumping Championship has grown in popularity and stature, and is well supported by sponsors, Emirates Airline as well as Official Watch and Timekeeper, Longines and Official Newspaper, Gulf News.

The Emirates Equestrian Centre hosts the annual event, and it is organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club, which is part of the Meydan Group.

The first event on Friday will be the Gulf News Cup at 2:30 pm which is a qualifier for Saturday’s Dubai Grand Prix.

The program on Saturday will begin at 11:30am with the Longines Accumulator.

Admission to the show jumping is free, and features plenty of entertainment for the entire family, including pony rides, bouncy castles, a horse breed parade and dressage to music.

Food trucks are parked at the venue for easy access to a variety of food and drink.