(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The competition has drawn the cream of the crop of riders from around the world for the two prestigious prizes and a slice of the ‚550,000 purse.
The President of the UAE Show Jumping Cup and the International Equestrian Federation's (FEI) Furusiyya Nations Cup promises top fare over four days starting from today until Saturday at the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting, and Golf Club.
The competition has drawn the cream of the crop of riders from around the world for the two prestigious prizes and a slice of the ‚550,000 purse. The Nations Cup, the FEI's opening competition for the season in Al Ain, is the single Middle East qualifier for the final at the Real Club de Polo of Barcelona in Spain from October 9 to 12.
The successful riders in the Grand Prix of the UAE President Cup will earn their passage to the FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, from August 23 to September 7. The four-day event is staged under the patronage of Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the President and Chairman of the Emirates Equestrian Federation.
Shaikh Sultan said: "As an international venue for equestrian sports, the UAE are well established. We have the experience and the expertise to stage world class competitions. "This competition is a great opportunity for our Emirati riders to pit their skills against a world class field.
"The Emirati riders have regularly participated in international event and enjoyed success too, but this competition provides the participation opportunity for more to gain valuable experience. I wish all the participants success and an enjoyable stay in the Emirates."
Emaar and Longines are the sponsors of the event organised by the Emirates Equestrian Federation and supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council will be held under the supervision of the sport's world governing body FEI.
The competition includes the Longines Welcome Stakes, a CSI 2-star competition, the 2-star Abu Dhabi Sports Council Challenge, the CSI 5-star Longines Welcome Challenge, and the Emaar Speed.
The qualifiers for the 2014 Nations Cup season has been reduced and limited to 20 events following the success of the new formula for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in 2013. Eight of those qualifiers will be grouped in Europe Division 1 and Europe Division 2, with the North and Central America and Caribbean League now having three qualifiers, including a new event in Mexico from May 7 to 11.
"Following the success of last year's inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup series and the fantastic final in Barcelona, we are looking forward to another fabulous new season starting in Al Ain," said John Madden, chairman of the FEI Jumping Committee.