February 21, 2019 - Dubai, UAE
Team UAE will be the fifth of seven nations to jump in Saturday's FEI Longines Jumping Nations Cup™ following the draw the which took place on Thursday as part of the four-day President of the UAE Showjumping Cup, presented by Longines.
Germany will be the first to go in the final class at Al Forsan International Sports Resort, followed by Ireland, Egypt, Syria, the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The UAE's Chef d'Equip, Khalid Al Eid, said he was very pleased with the draw position and predicted a strong showing from the four team riders, Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, Nadia Taryam, Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi and Abdullah Al Marri.
“I think we have a good draw,” he said. “I don't like to be the last to go because there is a lot of pressure. We are in the best position really because we will get to watch four rounds before we jump. The riders who go right at the end can be put under a lot of stress.” Al Eid, himself a top-level showjumper, said that his riders were in good form going into the competition.
“I think my riders are good and the horses are fit,” he said. “Yesterday in the big class, we had two clear rounds and one time fault. I am happy with them and they have all performed well this season.”
Two members of Team UAE have already recorded big wins on the UAE winter tour with Al Marri claiming the four-star Longines Al Shira'aa Grand Prix at the Al Shira'aa International Horse Show in Abu Dhabi in January and Al Muhairi landing the five-star HH Sharjah Ruler Cup at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club three weeks ago.
The FEI Longines Jumping Nations Cup™ offers the top two Middle Eastern finishers direct qualification to the FEI Longines Jumping Nations Cup™ Finals in Barcelona in October. It was at the finals in 2017 when Team UAE riders staged a shock victory in the Challenge Cup of the Nations Cup. The team, which boasted both Al Marri and Al Muhairi defeated several leading showjumping nations including then European Champions, Irelands and Brazil.