Farah Al Khojai, the first equestrienne to represent the country at the Pan Arab Games, is riding high after her success at the FEI World Dressage challenge at the Emirates Equestrian Centre in Dubai last week.
The competition, where she finished second on her new mare Mazurka Grafin Dubai Duty Free, was part of her final preparations for the Games, to be held in Doha next month.
"I am thrilled to have placed second in the recent FEI World Dressage challenge," said Al Khojai. "The standard of dressage at the event was higher than I have ever seen in a domestic competition and that is really encouraging for the sport here in the UAE.
"It was also my first professional competition on my new mare."
She said that the horse has just arrived from Germany and surpassed expectations.
Al Khojai hopes to improve on her performance at the Asian Games last November, when she qualified for the final round in her category, when she flies the flag for the UAE at the Pan Arab Games, saying a summer training camp in Germany has given her belief she can push for an even better finish in Qatar.
"The Asian Games was a huge success for me and I was so pleased with the outcome" she said.
"I am focused on improving my performance next month at the Pan Arab Games and I hope to achieve an even better result.
"Without the help of my sponsors I would not have been able to partake in the rigorous training schedule that I undertook this summer at the Hof Kasselmann Stables in Germany.
"They helped fund part of the training and the transportation of my horse back to the UAE. I am immensely grateful and in return have worked extremely hard. I am so proud to again be able to represent my country on an international level and intend to do my very best. "
One of the world's oldest sporting activities, together with horse riding, competitive dressage involves an increasingly difficult series of routines designed to show the suppleness, obedience and strength of the horse, and control, precision and expertise of the rider.
More than 6,000 athletes representing 22 countries will participate at the Pan Arab Games this year from December 9 to 23 in Doha.
* Compiled by the National staff with agency