Chloe Vranken of Belgium produced an impressive performance to be crowned winner of the flagship Longines Grand Prix category on the final day of the 10th FBMA International Show Jumping Cup in Abu Dhabi.
At Al Forsan International Sports Resort, the winners of the Grand Prix, the final category of the day saw the winners awarded their medals by Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, Major General Dr Ahmed Naser Al Raisi, President of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation and the President of Interpol, and Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Belgian rider Vranken on Emir De Vy clocked the quickest time of 74.67 seconds in the first round and a time of 36.87 seconds in the jump-off, which was enough to win the Grand Prix, CSI2* category of the One Round With Jump Off - GP - 145cm Class.
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Ines Joly of France, and Celine Schoonbroodt - De Azeved of Belgium finished second and third respectively.
Speaking after her victory, Vranken said: "It is actually my first time ever in the UAE, and first time competing in an only female class. I feel privileged to have competed in the 10th edition of the FBMA International Show Jumping Cup and win the gold trophy in the Grand Prix.
"The tournament was very well organised, and the level of the competition is up to par with other tournaments I have participated in abroad.
"There are always a few things I can fix, although I have been show jumping for over 20 years, and mistakes did happen in my run today, however, it couldn’t have been a better turnout as I won the Grand Prix.”
The Grand Prix was one of six categories to take place on the fourth and final day of the event which is one of the most respected competitions on the international equestrian circuit.
Sheikha Roudha Bint Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Vice Chairwoman of FBMA Board Members, awarded the medals in the CSIYH1* category, in which Emirati rider Nadia Abdul Aziz Taryam took the title in the 7yo-1.30cm Class, edging ahead of Sabri Badenjki of Syria and Humaid Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhairi also representing the UAE in this category.
Other winners on the day included Reem Mohamed Al Maazami who triumphed in the Nationals category while Sham Al Assad of Syria topped the CSIL2* in the Two Phases Classes.
In the CSIY-A, Omar Abdulaziz Al Marzooqi secured top spot yet again, making it his second win in the 10th edition of the tournament.
The gold in the 6yo-125 cm class was taken by Thierry Goffinet from Belgium.
The winner of the Nationals category, Maazami said: "I am very proud of my result, especially since it was a difficult period for me leading up my victory. I have been training very hard and Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club has been a huge supporter for me, and after five years of participating in this sport, I am grateful for my win today.
"Before getting on my horse today, I mentioned to my friends and family that my horse will be going back to the stable with a blanket, which is awarded to the winning horse, and we made it happen.”
The day brought the 2023 FBMA International Show Jumping Cup to an end which featured more than 330 horses and over 300 of the world’s best riders across 20 classes from 6 different categories. It had a total prize fund of Dhs800,000 — the largest in the event’s history in recognition of the 10th milestone edition.
Among the 34 countries that were represented included the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Great Britain, USA, India, South Africa and China.
Hajeri said: "We are thrilled with the high standard of performance throughout the four days of the FBMA International Show Jumping Cup which continues to be an important platform for developing the sport and enabling people of different ages and nationalities to become the best riders they can be.
"It is our overriding mission to encourage participation through sport and provide regular opportunities for people to take part and gain crucial experience that will help them in the future and it was wonderful to see so many people be part of this prestigious event.
"We are committed to help support the growth of show jumping so riders can go on and compete in the best tournaments around the world and we look forward to hosting the 2024 edition.”
Having his third start for Eric Lemartinel and his main patron, UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the homebred grey colt had made a winning debut here in the capital in early November, but was then well beaten on his only subsequent start in a conditions race over this 1600m course and distance.
Latifa of Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, clocked a winning time of 47.00 seconds while Mia Noor Annelie of Al Forsan Sports Resort and Hessa Al Haram — FBMA Rider, finished second and third.
At Al Forsan International Sports Resort, fans were treated to an entertaining day of action with the riders from the UAE, region and across the world taking part in six categories across eight classes.
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