Irish rider, Shane Breen was in double form on the opening day of the CSI4* Al Shira’aa International Horse Show in Abu Dhabi today (Wednesday) winning both the Young Horse class and the concluding Z7 Presents Grand Prix-qualifying class, with Can Ya Makan.
The show, now in its second year, is staged by Al Shira’aa Stables, the company founded by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which this week announced its sponsorship of the UAE Showjumping Team.
Of the 46 starters in the day’s big class, 21 achieved clear rounds, earning a spot in the jump off. Among them were the UAE’s Mohammed Al Hajri on Hermes de Mariposa and Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Sharbatly, the 2010 World Equestrian Games silver medalist. World number eight, Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and Portugal’s Luis Sabino Goncalves also made the cut into the second round.
First to go, Sharbatly went clear in 35.20 sec on Woulon L, only to see next rider, Von Eckermann lower his mark by less than a second with a 34.85 sec round on Artiste de l’Abbaye d’Auine. Danish rider, Cecille Hatteland came close to knocking the Swede off the top with a round just .07 of a second slower on Alex. But, next to go, Breen, riding Can Ya Makan for class sponsors Z7, lowered the time to beat to 33.28 sec. Breen looked safe in the top spot until Syrian, Kotayba Al Doygri and Queensland E entered the ring and matched Breen stride-for-stride, stopping the clock at 33.57 sec and taking second place. No-one else gave Breen much to be concerned about with the Irishman claiming his double for the day, Kotayba landing a brilliant second and Eckermann taking third.
Breen’s wins bookended the action on a busy first day which featured seven classes. His victory on Z Seven Canya Dance, after jumping last-but-two on the starting list, opened the day’s action. A fast clear in 56.60 sec was good enough to steal victory from long-time leader, Hadi Nazim from Syria and Galita O whose 60.70 sec had topped the rankings for most of the class. Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum and Bsharah were third with a clear round in 61.24 sec.
Breen, a Hickstead Derby winner in 2012, said: “Can Ya Makan felt great and was really jumping well. I was lucky that a few of the fast ones went before me so I could watch their rounds. Between fences one and two they did 12 strides and Canya Makan has a huge stride so I tried to get 11 there, and then push on for the rest and it worked.
“It’s really great to get a win for Z7 in class we sponsored. I’m delighted to be here at the Al Shiraa International Horse Show and I’m thrilled to have won the Young Horse class today with Canye Dance and the big class. I’m lucky to have the ride on so many great horses from team Z7 and it’s a pleasure to be here at Al Shira’aa International Horses Show and I’d like to thank Sheikha Fatima for holding such an amazing event and welcoming so many of us here.”
Saudi Arabian, Saad Alhajri and Vici R were the winners of the second 4* class, the Al Shira’aa Farms Presents CSI4*, clear in a time of 61.77 sec. France landed second with Jerome Hurei and Triomphe de Riverland in 62.51 sec and Tina Lund, a former European title holder, was just pipped for third on Ziezo with a time of 62.84.
The first day of the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show also produced plenty of UAE success stories at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort with Emirati riders claiming four of seven classes, including a CSI4* event.
The action was fast and furious with the children and young riders taking centre stage during the early session and the senior international ranking classes occupying the evening slots.
It was 17-year-old Ali Hamad Al Kirbi who led home a UAE 1-2-3 on Uxmal d’Ysieux when they landed the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sport Academy Class For Juniors with a clear round in a time of 60.03 sec. Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzouqi and Brazoria de Semilly placed a close second in 60.16 sec while Sultan Fadel Al Kaab was third on Inka’s Girl in a time of 61.51 sec.
Eisa Omran Al Owais, from the UAE and his horse, Avelon finished top in the fourth class of the day, the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sport Academy Children’s Class in a time of 59.73sec. Second was Saif Awaida Mohammed Al Kirbi, also from the UAE, with Al Mazyouna in 61.77 sec while Palestine’s Omar Ayman and Stella’s 64.81 was good enough for third.
That success was followed by a UAE 1-2, with Abdul Rahman Ahmed Ameen and Corando, winning the Fatiima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy- presented Class for Young Riders, in a speedy 58.70 sec. Moufi Owaida Al Kirbi was second on Calvaro’s Star with a time of 63.45 sec and Syria’s Imad Gharib was third with Quattro, clocking a time of 67.62 sec.
In the CSI4* category, it was the UAE’s Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and Kalyso de Bois partnership that claimed the International Jumping Against The Clock, presented by the Mother Of The Nation, with a time of 62.48 sec. Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi and Pogba, also from the UAE took second in 63.43 sec while Jordan’s Ahmed Mansour was third on Estoril de Vardag in 63.74 sec