David Will to headline Al Shira’aa showjumping competition in Abu Dhabi

German starts as favourite during World Cup Qualifier at Al Forsan International Sports Resort

David Will of Germany at the European Championship last year. Getty
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David Will tops the entry list for the fifth edition of the Al Shira’aa Showjumping competition at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi from Thursday.

Ranked 24th in the world, the German has represented his country twice in the Nation’s Cup and will be a leading contender for the Al Shira’aa Longines Grand Prix – the final event of the four-day competition on Sunday.

Among the challengers are Italy’s Emmanuel Gudiano, Bart Bless and Jur Vreilin both from the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Al Sharbatly and Emirati Hamad Al Kirbi.

Gudiano competed at the Rio 2016 Games. Vreilin has two Olympic appearances, London 2012 and Rio 2016, under his belt while Al Sharbatly is a regular at competitions in the UAE and carried his nation’s flag at London 2012.

“The Al Shira’aa Horse Show has a competition for every level and of course the highlight is the final event, which serves as a qualifier for the FEI World Cup in Germany on August,” Khaled Al Junaibi, event director, said.

“The event is in its fifth year and has continued to grow and has drawn 220 riders from 19 countries vying for the slice of the €232,000 prize fund.

“We are delighted to have some of the leading riders from around the world and looking forward to some exciting competition over the four days. Also it provides our own riders and horses the opportunity to compete in the top flight.”

The opening day’s events consist of seven competitions highlighted by the CSI four-star one round against the clock and a qualifier for the Grand Prix.

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Updated: January 26, 2022, 4:12 PM