Ahmed Ali Saeed claimed victory, having beaten 26 combinations in this qualifying competition for the CSI2* Grand Prix on the first day of the Global Championship Tour at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Saeed came through the flags aboard Picobello Wodiena in a time of 59.51 seconds, three seconds clear of Khalid Ali Al Junaibi's time of 62.56. The latter was clear and fast with aboard Land Force Stable's Selle Francais stallion Justes Desfi.
The penultimate competitor, UAE female rider Nadia Abdul Aziz Taryam, searched for the winning answer aboard the German-bred Calawo. The gallant effort looked set for the win, but two wide turns saw her completed time at 63.41 secs, putting them third.
The day kicked off with the CSI2* 1.25m two-phase competition on the course designed by Uliano Vezzani.
The class showcased the Middle East's best horse-and-rider combinations, along with expatriates in the region, along with the internationals Charlotte Casiraghi from Monaco and the Russian Ekatarina Rybolovleva.
Nathalie Christodoulou set a good pace from her mid-field start that eventually saw her finish third with the KWPN Nakich Double Dutch event.
Rashid Al Rumaithi celebrated the win, riding Icard des Bois.
He put pressure on his rivals by posting a quick round of 23.08 secs.
Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan attempted to catch Al Rumaithi's time aboard Urgent III but fell just short, finishing in 23.75 secs and second place.