Doha, 22 February 2023 - World-class riders from across the globe are set to compete in the 10th edition of Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines that gets underway at state-of-the-art Longines Arena tomorrow.
Al Shaqab’s signature event – one of the five CHI (Concours Hippique International) competitions worldwide and the only event of its kind in the Middle East and Asia – features the Olympic disciplines of showjumping, dressage and para-dressage during three days of quality action.
The international competitions consisting three or more equestrian disciplines are titled as CHI by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
CHI Al Shaqab has been attracting best riders of the world since its first edition back in 2013 and this year it will be no different as a stellar line-up is confirmed for the next three days. This 2023 edition will see over 130 riders and more than 190 horses from 28 countries competing for top honours. While top riders from countries like Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands will be battling for titles, teams from Palestine and Lithuania will make their debut in the premier CHI event.
Qatar’s Wejdan Al Malki, who impressed with her performance in the last year’s edition, will also be seen in action on her 18-year-old purebred bay Spanish stallion Mango Jacaro during Friday and Saturday’s dressage competition. Faleh Al Ajami and Salmen Al Suwaidi will represent the host country in showjumping. Besides, riders from many GCC and Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Morocco will also test their skills at Longines Arena.
Addressing a pre-event press conference, Al Shaqab's Event Director Omar Al Mannai said organising committee over the years has continued to bring improvement in the event, which is one of the major equestrian competitions in the world. “We are proud and honoured to host the 2023 Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines – now established as a highlight of the equestrian year. Bringing together many of the best riders and horses from around the world, this event carries a level of prestige which can only help Al Shaqab continue its mission of building on Qatar’s equestrian traditions,” Al Mannai, flanked by Discipline Manager Alejandro Berdegue and representatives of the event’s sponsors, told reporters at Al Shaqab yesterday.
The organisers have also lined up wide range of activities that will continue on the sidelines during the three-day action. These activities include pony rides, carnival games, arts & crafts, face painting, puppet shows, a clown duo, children’s contests and magic shows.
“Again this year, we will deliver a festival of extraordinarily high-quality sport, as well as cultural, educational, and family activities. It has been tremendously encouraging to see the event grow bigger and better with every passing year – and this has been a credit to everyone involved. Special thanks must go to the event sponsors and partners, who have shown their commitment towards supporting equestrian sport in Qatar,” Al Mannai added.
This year’s competition is supported by Title Sponsor, Commercial Bank; Presenting Partner, Longines; and Main Sponsor, ExxonMobil Qatar. The event’s additional supporters are Qatar Tourism (Official Sponsor), Vodafone Qatar (Telecom Partner), Gulfcrafts (Space Branding Partner), White Event (Social Media Partner), Equine Veterinary Medical Center (Official Veterinary Partner), and Aspetar (Official Medical Partner).
Speaking on behalf of the Main Sponsor, Saleh bin Saad Al Mana, Vice-President and Director of Government & Public Affairs at ExxonMobil Qatar, expressed his company’s satisfaction with the arrangements: “We’re excited and delighted to be the main sponsor of CHI Al Shaqab for another year, and to continue our long-standing relationship with Al Shaqab.”
He added: “Young people are one of society’s main agents of change and progress. We believe that they should have access to life-changing activities that expand their horizons and arm them with vital life skills. Al Shaqab provides a space for them to experience such activities, and unique learning opportunities beyond the classroom that will help them create strong and prosperous communities for the future.”
For Commercial Bank, Ashjan Saleh I S Al Khalaf, Sponsorship and Events, said: “I’m delighted that Commercial Bank will once again be the Title Sponsor of CHI Al Shaqab. We’re looking forward to being part of a truly exceptional equestrian competition. Commercial Bank appreciates the importance of sports in the social and economic development of Qatar – and is committed to supporting Qatar’s vision of becoming an international sporting hub.”