55 riders set for Muscat Showjumping Series finale

MUSCAT: Fifty-five riders are preparing to compete for the Muscat Showjumping Series title this weekend in the culmination of a six-month-long series where the overall winner will be crowned. Horse riding holds a prominent position in Oman’s heritage and the Muscat Showjumping Series has updated the tradition to connect it to the modern sporting spectacle of competitive riding. The finale is free to attend, starting at 2.30pm on Saturday, March 31 at the Olympic Equestrian Training Centre in Al Felaij, with an opportunity to witness the best line-up of horse riders in Oman compete for the finale crown in three categories, the Novice, D Class and C Class.
The event will be attended by guest of honour, Said Hamdoon Saif al Harthy, Undersecretary of Ports and Maritime Affairs, and prizes will be presented to the winners and the overall winner will be allowed to keep the cup for one year. If the winner is able to repeat this achievement next year, the cup will be theirs to keep. There will be entertainment and refreshments throughout the day, such as a free chance to learn how to ride a pony as well as a special shop for horse riding equipment.
Sultan al Tooqi, winner of Oman’s first ever Olympic medal, a silver in the showjumping event at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, said, “This is the moment we have been working towards since October. The standard of riding is extremely high with riders of all ages taking part in multiple categories as we look to showcase Oman’s long-held affection for horse riding and elevate Omani riders to the levels required for international competition.”
“The event is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievement of the riders, crown a champion and introduce future competitors to the sport. Spectators can cheer on the action and enjoy a family-friendly day out.”
Sultan added, “The experience of delivering this event on a larger scale will allow us to improve the elements vital to taking showjumping in Oman to the next level. That includes the calibre of rider, range of categories, prizes and competition standards. Equestrian has grown in popularity over the last two decades and we are excited about the potential to make it a major attraction.”
The Muscat Showjumping Series is part of the national Tanfeedh initiative to engage the private sector to maximise the potential in key industries. The Sultanate’s potential in sports tourism through equestrian can lead to an influx of international riders choosing Oman for training and the opportunity to host events certified by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) in the future.