Al Shamsi misses out on top spot
ABU DHABI // The Emirati rider Aisha al Shamsi jumped her way to international honours in the capital by clinching a second-place finish in the Championship Final of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Children's International Jumping competition. Top honours on Friday went to Mohammed Jabri of Syria on Al Abhar, speeding his way to a clear round finish in the final jump-off in 46.77 seconds.
A field of 28 young riders from 16 countries competed during the four-day competition, which took place at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Al Shamsi, from Sharjah, finished a close runner-up on Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan's mare, Ograff D'Adriers. Syria also sealed third with Hadi Nizam finishing with four faults on the Ahmed Hamsho-owned Sakher. "UAE riders have been competing in this competition for the past nine years and have never done as well as I have. I am really happy and proud to have finished second. A bit shocked, but very happy," said 14-year-old al Shamsi, who borrowed a horse to compete in the final.
"I was very lucky to qualify for the competition as my horse is lame. The mare I rode was a lovely horse to ride, although it took a while to get used to her. My horse is completely different. "I hope to compete in the International event in January, but it depends on whether my horse has recovered. "Riding is a big part of my life. One day I would like to reach the level of [Olympic rider] Sheikha Latifa [al Maktoum]."
Junior riders aged 12-14 travelled from as far as Brazil and New Zealand to compete. The UAE-based junior rider Madelaine Wilson, riding Carinio 7, clinched first place in the Farewell Final - an additional competition for riders who did not qualify for the Championship Final. firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: December 20, 2009 04:00 AM