UAE's Barrelhouse Rugby Club expands academy in search of the best new talent

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Expanding: Barrelhouse Rugby Club has over 400 members

Founded in 1982 in the UAE, Barrelhouse Rugby Club was initially formed to compete at the Dubai Rugby 7’s to play. However, such is the popularity of the club, the team now has players from all over the world in the pink jersey.

The club has expanded their academy to realise a vision of teaching young children all the great attributes of rugby, specifically team work, respect and inclusiveness, while coaching the children in the correct techniques and skills needed to play competitive rugby. The club has adopted the All Black philosophy of, ‘hands on ball time’and their sessions ensure that children spend the majority of the time with a ball in hand, learning how it feels, familiarising themselves with how it moves in the air and on the ground, and most importantly constantly growing in confidence with how to play with the ball.

Standing out: Members wear pink in support of breast cancer

Standing out: Members wear pink in support of breast cancer charities

The team play in the unique pink kit in support of breast cancer patients in memory of members of the Barrelhouse family lost to breast cancer and over the years. Club members also don a pink Tilley Hat, which is uniquely embroidered with the member’s club number and name.

Off the field, the Barrelhouse social club has grown to over 400 members, families and children attend events, from pre-season functions, to annual AGM’s. Recently a member’s daughter fell ill and the club raised money for her treatment and provided the family with emotional support. The daughter has beaten her illness and is once again on the sidelines, cheering her dad on at matches.

All ages: The club encourages those young and old to get involved

All ages: The club encourages those young and old to get involved

Over the years, Barrelhouse has gathered a long list of accolades and silverware including winning the AGRFU competition and the Gulf Men’s Social and the Vets division. The club has expanded to play in the Eden Park Rugby 7’s series in the build up to the Dubai Rugby 7’s, various 10’s tournaments and they have embarked on many international tours. Recently Barrelhouse entered the community league of the UAERF, finishing unbeaten in the league stage, they went on to play in the final losing in a hotly contested game with the Jebal Ali Dragons.

Winners: The club won the AGRFU competition and the Gulf Men’s Social and the Vets division

Winners: The club won the AGRFU competition and the Gulf Men’s Social and the Vets division

Rugby has long been considered a Barbarians game played by Gentlemen, and that is something that the club embrace.  Barrelhouse has steadily grown to over 50 active players forming the base of the club. These players are attracted to the Barrelhouse style of play, which is fluid, fast moving, and about avoiding contact and looking for space to exploit the gaps.

For more information and to sign up visit www.barrelhouserugby.club

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UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi heads to Sweden for Longines Jumping FEI World Cup Final

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World Cup star: Abdullah Humaid Al Mohair will be riding for the UAE

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi will be representing the UAE at the Gothenburg Horse Show for the Longines Jumping FEI World Cup™ Final, which kicks off today. Here, he speaks exclusively to Sport360 about representing his country, dealing with pressure, and his Olympic dreams.

Preparation has been going very well ahead of the Longines Jumping FEI World Cup Final, I just came back from a show in Paris, so that’ the best training – to be in competition. I have to change some things when I’m riding outside of the UAE. The Longines Jumping FEI World Cup Finalitself is indoors so I have to get used to the smaller arena and make sure the horse is comfortable. The weather is obviously colder in Sweden than the UAE so you have to make sure your horse is able to cope with the conditions. As a rider you have to wear additional clothing and have more blankets for the horses. They can take some getting used to that. Typically it takes about 10 days for a horse to get used to the conditions in Europe.

There is pressure because you’re competing against the best in the world and of course it’s an honour to represent your country, but you want to make sure you’re doing it in the right way, and showing the world that the UAE riders are capable of competing with the best. We’re lucky because we’ve had a lot of international shows in the UAE and the level is very high, the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation have been doing a great job in building the sport.Things have been getting much easier because we’re jumping a lot more frequently, which means the horses are getting better and better.

Victory is the dream at the Longines Jumping FEI World Cup Final, it would be a brilliant achievement and it would do a lot for the sport back home, we’re going the right way, and this is going to be a great experience. It’s not easy to get into the sport, it takes a long time and you have to look after yourself and your diet. Not only that you have to look after your horse the same way, you need to be very patient.

We have a goal in the UAE to qualify for the Olympics and we have a plan with our trainers and hopefully if we do we can get a medal. It’s step by step at the moment but it’s becoming more and more realistic. The horses are good and the team is determined to make it happen, starting this week.

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Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi triumphs as UAE riders come together for Emirates show jumping championship

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Leap year: Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi's success was just one of many championship victories for the Emirati rider this season

Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club’s Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi and his horse ‘Espresso’ won the 21st Emirates Show Jumping Championship. This competition showcased 15 classes over three days at the Emirates Equestrian Centre in Dubai, under the supervision of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF) with Longines as the title sponsor, Official Time Keeper and presenting partner of the Emirates Longines Show Jumping league competitions.

The Emirates Championship celebrates UAE riders from all categories approved by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF) who participated in the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League’s national and international competitions during the UAE’s show jumping season. Children, Juniors, Young Riders, as well as Division 1 & 2 riders, rode in their respective classes with each category riding in three competitions – one on each day of the championship. The results are judged according to the special rules for the championship and the riders’ results are carried over to the championship’s final day of competitions. The championship carried a total purse of AED 400,000, which was distributed amongst winning riders.

Sheikh Jamal bin Nasser Al Nuaimi attended the championship competitions and awarded the winners of Division 1, while Hussam Zummit, representative of the UAEERF, supervised the riders’ performance. Hamad Al Shamsi, Director of the Emirates Equestrian Centre in Dubai, and Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Nakhi, Vice-Chairman of the Show Jumping Committee at the UAEERF also took part in presenting the prizes to the riders.

The Ground Jury Committee was presided by Khalil Ibrahim with the assistance of several international judges. The courses were designed and implemented on the arena by the German Course Designer Volker Smidth and the championship arenas were supervised by Ali Muhajer.

Pep in his step: Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi and his horse ' Espresso'

Pep in his step: Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi and his horse ‘ Espresso’

H.E. Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, President of UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation said: “Following the biggest weekend in the equestrian world – where both the 24th edition of the Dubai World Cup and the 21st Emirates Show Jumping Championship took place – we celebrate not only the UAE as a hub for equestrian sports but also our immense love and respect for the horse.” He continued: “We would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his extraordinary vision and the ability to see the world as a true equestrian where the past and future are linked by the common thread of heritage and values.”

“Just as Sheikh Mohammad’s inspirational new book mentions that his first horse taught him that achievements are never accomplished without work; we, too, have seen this in our national riders who have put tremendous effort and dedication into what they do, every day. This is what spurs us all on to achieve more for the sport as we head towards the end of an incredible season which has seen more international show jumpers than ever before travel to the UAE to compete in world class competitions delivered by the Federation and venues across the UAE. 50 international riders, 180 riders from the Middle East including 100 riders from the UAE show this sport is growing year on year due to the facilities, events and quality of competition we now offer on UAE soil.”

Salim Khamis Al Suwaidi and his 10 year-old horse ‘Espresso’ from the Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club won the final Two Rounds not Against the clock class with jumps placed at 150cm. This was another title added to Al Suwaidi’s great record with ‘Espresso’, as he won a number of international show jumping championships during the season. He also holds the title of winner of the Emirates Championship in the Division 1 category with his spectacular horse ‘Feline S’, which he won back in 2017.

Al Suwaidi came in first with a score of (3.04) penalty points in the three rounds. Sheikha Latifah Al Maktoum came second on her horse ‘Cobolt 8’ with a score of (3.52) penalty points, and Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club’s rider Hamad Ali Al Kirbi and ‘Uxmal D’ysieux’ came in third with a score of (4) penalty points.

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