Abu Dhabi, September 24, 2017 – For the very first time in the country’s history, riders from the UAE will compete in the country’s first Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final on September 28th. After a successful season, the team earned a spot at the prestigious event held at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona.
The Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping is equestrian sport's oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the world competing for one of the most coveted prizes in the Olympic discipline. This season, a record number of 50 nations have competed to win their ticket to the Final where Team UAE will compete with the show jumping elite as one of the 18 qualified nations.
President of the FEI, Ingmar De Vos, congratulated the team after their qualification. “The Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping is equestrian sport's oldest and most prestigious team challenge, and as we celebrate 108 years in 2017 we are very excited to see the impressive Team UAE compete for the first time at the Final against the world’s best jumping teams.
"The presence of Team UAE at this Final highlights the success and growth of equestrian sport in the UAE and GCC and we wish Team UAE every success over the three days of top Jumping action at the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final.”
In August, Longines proudly announced the signature of its new title partnership with the newly-named Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series, as well as the extension of its long-term agreement as the FEI’s Top Partner. The event in Barcelona is the first to celebrate this agreement and sees the Swiss watch-making company and longtime partner of the series resume their role as Official Timekeeper.
Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing commented: “Longines has been associated with equestrian sports since 1878 and partnered with show jumping in 1912 already. In the UAE, our brand has been notably associated with the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League including the President of UAE Show Jumping Cup CSIO5* presented by Longines and of course, with the leg of the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping held in Al Ain. As the Title Partner and Official Timekeeper the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final, Longines wishes every success to the UAE Team.”
In the lead up to the event, Team UAE have undergone extensive training in both Germany and Austria with the generous support of Al Shiraa Stables. The UAE team management were in a buoyant mood ahead of the competition.
UAE Team Manager, Omran AlOwais commented, “The team – consisting of Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Mohamed Ghanem Al Hajri, Abdullah Moh'd Al Marri, Sheikh Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qassimi and Mohamed Abdullah Al Kumaiti – have trained extremely hard in the build-up to the FEI Nations Cup. I am optimistic about their performance and we look forward to representing the UAE in one of the greatest sporting cities in the world.”
Sheikh Majed AlQassimi commented: “I am really looking forward to this event. All the riders have been working hard throughout the season. It is an honor to be able to represent our country for the first time at such a prestigious event. We hope to do well for the team and our country.”
Board Member of Emirates Equestrian Federation and Head of the Showjumping and Dressage committee H.E. Mariam Mohammed Saaed Hareb added: “Team UAE has made significant progress in show jumping in recent years. Qualifying for this international event is a fantastic achievement for the team and equestrian sport in the UAE. I would also like to express my gratitude to H.H Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa AlNahyan on supporting the riders during the summer camps and her continued support for UAE showjumping. We are hugely proud of the jumpers and we know the country will support them and wish them the best of luck.”