American Alice Clero claims Grand Prix gold at FBMA International Show Jumping Cup

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Grand Prix winner Alice Clero.

The sixth edition of the FBMA International Show Jumping Cup drew to close on Saturday at Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi.

HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, was in attendance and awarded the winning riders from the CISL2 category, as Leila Malki took gold, Danish rider Tina Lund took silver and Maria Gonzalez Iaguillo won bronze.

The final Grand Prix race was clinched by American Alice Debany Clero, while Anita Annika Sande claimed the silver medal and Brit Georgia Tame took bronze.

Sheikh Nahyan said: “without the constant support of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak and the continuous follow-up by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairperson of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Sports Academy and President of Abu Dhabi Club and Al Ain Women’s Club, this event would not be possible.

“This exceptional tournament is the result of a series of successes and developments year after year, in a spectacle that highlights the world-class quality of sports that Abu Dhabi enjoys as an international capital for such events.”

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Sheikha Fatima said the event could not have achieved such success if not for the utmost support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the General Women’s Union, Chief Executive Officer of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood – Mother of the Nation.

She expressed her pride for the outstanding participation of Emirati riders in this year’s edition, saying: “The FBMA International Show Jumping Cup 2019 has witnessed an increase in participation, in addition to a spectacular performance by Emirati riders, which is a culmination of our longstanding efforts to foster Abu Dhabi’s position as an international destination for major sports events, as well as encourage women to flourish in sports and achieve their potential.

“The event has surpassed all expectations once again, and we truly admire the continuous efforts and persistence of all participating riders from the UAE; they contribute to promoting Abu Dhabi as a leading sports destination across the world.

“The Academy would like to thank all of the riders, from the UAE and around the world, who gave competed with passion and fairness. We are also grateful to the sponsors who have helped make the sixth edition of this special event a great success.

“From all of us here at FBMA, we’re already looking forward to next year’s cup, as we enable our community to engage with another world-class sporting event.”

Clero, who went away as the final winner of the Grand Prix, chalked up two great times in the shape of 80.25 and 38.83. Norwegian Sande recorded times of 81.27 and 39.09, while Tame timed in at 80.08 and 39.42.

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Estihdaaf takes UAE 2000 Guineas glory for Godolphin at Meydan

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Estihdaaf turned the UAE 2000 Guineas into a procession as he ran away with the Group Three contest on dirt to be the highlight of a four-timer for Godolphin at Meydan.

Taking trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s record haul in the race to seven, the son of Arch was soon in front despite a slow start.

With jockey Christophe Soumillon setting the fractions, Estihdaaf had too much toe for Walking Thunder and crossed the line five and a half lengths to the good.

Bin Suroor said of the three-year-old: “He improved from his run last time when he finished second. We thought the dirt would suit him because of his breeding.
“I told the jockey before the race to jump and be handy with him as he does when he works well in the mornings.

“He went forward with him and he won well.

“We need to see how he comes out of this race and Sheikh Mohammed will make the decision on his next race.”

Charlie Appleby supplied Godolphin’s other three winners through Dubhe, Nordic Lights and Mubtasim, all ridden by William Buick.

Dubhe led a furlong and a half out in the two-mile Al Naboodah Honeywell Partnership Handicap as his stamina kicked in to score by four lengths from bin Suroor’s Red Galileo to give Godolphin a one-two.

“We were hopeful that Dubhe would cope with the step up to two miles – he has been showing all the right signs and he has the pedigree to stay it,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“We always thought staying was going to be his game.

“We were a bit disappointed with his first start of the year, but he just does himself a bit too well and takes a bit of work.

“He is not the most exuberant worker at home and coming to the races helped him strip a bit fitter – he definitely came forward for the race.

“We will have to see, but Dubhe might have booked himself a ticket to Australia. He has a lot more options now that we know he stays well.”

Nordic Lights (11-4) made most of the running as he took the Al Naboodah Travel Handicap by two and quarter lengths from another bin Suroor inmate, Desert Fire.

“We tried to eliminate the preliminaries as much as possible which helped and coming back to nine furlongs suited,” said Appleby.

“It was a similar run style to the 10 (furlongs) last time, but he got caught late on there. We were confident coming back to the nine he’d have the pace for it and be able to see it out a bit longer.

“We saw at the post he gets himself worked up. We try to keep the lid on him for as long as possible. We were allowed to take him down early and keep him as calm as possible.

“He might not be quite good enough for a Jebel Hatta (Group One), but he’s done nothing wrong there. We’ll get him back home and we’ll have a regroup.”

Mubtasim overcame a wide draw to comfortably land the Al Naboodah Cargo Handicap from Poet’s Society with David Marnane’s Irish raider Freescape running a big race in third place.

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Sixth edition of FBMA International Show Jumping Cup kicks off in capital

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The sixth edition of the FBMA International Show Jumping Cup kicked off on Thursday, as the Al Forsan International Sports Resort gets set to host three days of intense competition and talent.

Welcoming 166 riders from 28 counties, the trophy winning commenced as the winners of the first three categories were announced in Abu Dhabi.

In attendance was HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, President of the Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain ladies clubs.

She said: “It has been a delight being here today, witnessing the opening of the sixth edition of this incredible Show Jumping Cup.

“We have been fortunate enough to not only observe both local and international talent, but welcome the community of the UAE to the family-friendly Equestrian Village.”

The action got under way with day one seeing a total of five categories compete. All events are ‘Concours de Saut International’ (CSI), in line with a ranking system for international show jumping competitions.

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The day began with a CSI Children’s class (CSICh-A) for riders aged 12-14, which saw eight riders compete. The first category was won by local talent Abdullah Hamad Ali Al Kirbi with a time of 59.40. Second and third places went to Syria’s Layth Ghurayeb and Emirati Saif Abdulla Mohammed Al Shamsi, who registered times of 61.08 and 63.95 respectively.

The second round – CSIJ-A class – with a total of 37 riders, saw first and second prize go to UAE nationals Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi and Sultan Majed Al Awani, who completed two faultless rides each.

Jumping fences at 1.25m, Al Marzooqi clocked 47.14 in his first round followed by 27.22 in his second, while Al Awani registered 49.61 in his first round and 27.75 in the second.

The podium was completed by Jordan’s Mohammad Amjad Al Mommani, who timed his first round at 47.70 and his second at 28.15.

The afternoon’s competition began with the third category – the Ladies National Show. Featuring 62 riders, the top spot was won by Noof Hamdan Al Maheri from Al Hamra Equestrian Centre, followed by Syrian rider Lilac Kojak from Al Ali Stables, and in third spot was Emirati Shaika Fuad Al Midfa, representing Sharjah Women Sports Club.

The free event also saw families gather at the ever-popular Equestrian Village, which provides visitors with a fun equestrian-themed activity zone, featuring games and competitions for children of all ages.

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