Martin Fuchs produced a masterful performance with his stallion Chaplin to win the CSI5* 1.55m class, the feature event of yesterday’s CHI Al Shaqab.
The Switzerland rider and his 10-year-old horse were in the class of their own as they trumped nine other riders in the jump-off to clinch the €154,000 money event at the Al Shaqab arena.
Fuchs was second last to get off the blocks with Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels’ time of 37.47 seconds to beat. And Fuchs knew exactly what to do, as he marshalled Chaplin with some breathtaking turns and speed to stop the clock in 36.91 seconds and pocket €38,500.
Bruynseels had himself put in an immaculate round with 11-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in a highly technical course, which had many difficult twists and turns. Another Belgian rider Pieter Devos was the last to go with 12-year-old gelding Apart Larino and looked good for most of the course, but the pair could only finish in 37.64 seconds and settle for third spot.
CHI Al Shaqab will conclude today with another full day of competitions. The marquee event – CSI5* Grand Prix, which carries a whopping €500,000 in prize money is the one to watch out for and will bring curtains to the championship.
Meanwhile, Kevin Staut won the CSI5* 1.50m class as the Frenchman blazed across the course aboard his 13-year-old Elky van het Indihof Hdc. The pair finished more the two seconds ahead of Henrik Von Eckermann, who claimed the second spot.
Staut pushed the paddle with his bay and produced a clear round in 63.24 seconds. Von Eckermann followed with his stallion Chacanno but was not quite as fast coming home in 65.38 seconds.
“I finished fifth yesterday with this mare so I was really pleased to win in this class. It is a great venue with a big arena and good facilities. It is nice to come here in the winter as in France and Europe it is cold at the moment. I will be riding my other horse Aran in the Grand Prix tomorrow,” said Staut.
The third spot went to Ibrabim Hani Bisharat, the Jordan rider and his mare Brown Sugar finishing in 65.50, just hundredths of a second ahead of Italian Piergiogio Bucci and the gelding Hearthbraker vd Achterhoe.
In the CSI 3*, which is part of the second and final leg of the Doha Tour conducted by the Qatar Equestrian Federation and is held concurrently with the CHI Al Shaqab, Qatari rider Salman Mohammed A S al-Emadi delighted the home crowd cruising to victor in the Against the Clock 1.45m class.
Al-Emadi, riding his 16-year-old gelding Zorro Z, was one of the only three to jump clear. The Qatari posted a winning time of 67.10 seconds, which was nearly four seconds ahead of second-placed Ramzy Hamad al-Duhami.
Saudi Arabia’s al-Duhami astride High Quality came home in 70.89 seconds. He had finished in runner-up in one of Thursday’s CSI3* classes and will be hoping to go one better today. Finishing some five seconds behind in third was Frenchman Frederic David with stallion Baloussini.
After tasting a victory at the magnificent Al Shaqab arena, al-Emadi was hoping to take part in the CSI5* events next year. “I have been riding for a long time and started show jumping because my father was a big supporter of the sport. It is great to see how the sport has grown in Qatar. I hope to compete in the five star next year,” said the Qatari.
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