JEDDAH: Abdullah Al-Sharbatly won the Saudi National Guard Ministry’s showjumping cup at the Jeddah Trio Ranch on Saturday.
Al-Sharbatly told Arab News that the standard had been very high, adding that he was happy to compete in a field of such skilled competitors.
“There are a lot of good Saudi riders, and the sport is developing every year. I am very proud of the national shows. They are at a top level,” he said.
The rider said that the equestrian sport in the Kingdom was the best in the Middle East and the world. Saudis were leading in the sport as they competed at international championships and would continue to improve, he said.
As a competitor in a number of events over the span of his career, Al-Sharbatly said that he was glad to be a part of a growing movement to attract as many young Saudis to the sport as possible and was happy to help out by providing advice and support to younger riders. “I am not going to do it for too long, as I am leaving soon, but I was really happy to be here with my brothers and friends,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maj. Sultan bin Saleh Al-Qarza’e, an officer at the Sport Affairs of the National Guard, represented the ministry at the competition. With the encouragement of Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, he hopes to have lived up to the minister’s expectations.
“He continuously encourages us all to be present in all sport events. The doors are open to all the members of the Ministry of the National Guard, and given such confidence, we are doing our best in representing it,” he said.
Al-Sharbatly was presented with the cup by Brig. Gen. Saad Al-Ahmari, head of public relations at the Ministry of National Guards, Western Sector, after his win. He also received a cash prize of SR8,450 ($2,747).
Al-Sharbatly completed the show in 40:27 seconds on his horse Larry, with a penalty-free score.
Khaled Al-Mobty came second after finishing the show in 44:89 seconds, also with no penalties. He received a cash prize of SR7,150.
Faisal Aba Al-Khail came third after completing in 43:33 seconds with 12 penalties.
Hasan Mohammed Al-Hadi came top in the beginner’s first round, followed by Khaled Mushait and Mishaal Al-Qahtani.
Mostafa Kanaan came first in the under-15 show round, followed by Oufi Rizq and Abdul Majeed Hathir.
Khalid Al-Hadi won first place in the open round. Mohammed Bakaram came second and was followed by Abdullah Ibrahim in third place.
The three-day competition, which started on Thursday, was squeezed into two days due to heavy rain in Jeddah.