Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

Saudi teenager Abdulrahman Al Nemr shines at Al Shira’aa International Horse Show

Triumphant in Wednesday's action at the event in Abu Dhabi

Abdulrahman Al Nemr celebrates his success. Victor Besa / The National
Abdulrahman Al Nemr celebrates his success. Victor Besa / The National

Abdulrahman Al Nemr emerged as a new young star in the making when he outclassed an experienced field to win the Al Shira’aa Horse Show’s competition against the clock contest.

The Saudi Arabian schoolboy, 15, rode a flawless round of the course on Beverly Girl to triumph in Wednesday's action at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi.

“I have won a few international prizes but this is the biggest, being a CSI 4-star event,” Nemr said after clocking the fastest time of 51.12 seconds.

“This win was made even better because there were a lot of experienced riders and horses that I had to compete against. It was very challenging and I feel top of the world.”

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Al Nemr has his sights now set on the Olympics and believes his journey to reach that dream has just begun in Abu Dhabi.

Some of the more experienced riders competing with him were Ramzy Al Duhami and Khaled Al Mobty, members of the Saudi Arabia team who won gold at the recent Asian Games in Jakarta.

“I don’t want to be compared with them because they are in a different league and I’m learning from them every day,” said Al Nemr when asked of his success over his more experienced teammates.

“My seniors are helping me and providing all the encouragement. They share their experience that has been invaluable to me. We are a family and are competing for the country.

“So it doesn’t matter who win as long as it’s for Saudi Arabia. In this sport, everyone has good days and not so good days. I had a great day today.

“We have arrived with a big group of around 16 riders for the four-day competition and hopefully win a few more prizes for the country.”

There were 72 riders involved in the competition on Wednesday. Jordanian Nasouh Kayali had led for much of the event, having gone fourth, before Al Nemr overtook him.

Al Nemr had been 50th to set a time and admitted that he had felt some nerves as he waited for the following riders after him to complete their rounds and see if any of them could better his effort.

“I wasn’t sure if I could better that timing but I tried and was successful," he said of his performance. "I have been riding this mare for nearly five years since I first started to compete. She was outstanding today.

“I knew it wasn’t an easy to beat that timing but you never know,” he said.

The opening competition of yesterday, the CSI 1-star for young horses, was won by Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi on Diamond Way. Dimitri Natsis atop Cascall and Tina Lund on board Celvita Z were second and third respectively.

The Al Shira’aa International Horse Show runs through until Saturday.

Updated: January 9, 2019 07:08 PM

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