Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum among the entries for FBMA International Showjumping Cup

The three-day competition for ladies starts Thursday at Al Forsan International Sports Resorts in Abu Dhabi

Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum will lead the way for UAE at the FBMA International Showjumping Cup. Reem Mohammed / The National
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The UAE national team riders Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum and Nadia Taryam spearhead the local challenge in the sixth Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) International Showjumping Cup this weekend.

The three-day competition for ladies starts Thursday at Al Forsan International Sports Resorts in Abu Dhabi with more than 130 riders from 20 countries competing in seven categories, concluding on Saturday with the FEI CSIL 2-star Cup.

“The objective of this competition from the onset was to provide the opportunity and develop the Emirati female riders,” said event director Khalid Al Junaibi.

“When we first set out on this journey we could hardly find any Emirati female riders but six years on we have more than 50 in various categories.

“There is definitely a lot of progress in terms of developing Emirati female riders and our objective is to keep improving both the level and the rating of the competition.”

Looking ahead, Al Junaibi, who is also a member of the UAE national showjumping team, said the objective is to improve the status of the competition to 3-star.

“This competition has been a 2-star from the time it was founded and we are eligible to apply for 3-star status from the FEI [the world’governing body],” Al Junaibi said.

“However, we don’t want to do that until we reach that level with our own riders.

“Sheikha Latifa and Nadia Taryam both had head starts and they are in the national team but we have three riders – Amal Al Muhairi, Eman Al Muhairi and Shamma Al Hameli – very soon will reach a good level in international competitions.”

FBMA board member Amal Al Afifi added: “As the FBMA calendar of events continues to grow, the FBMA International Show Jumping Cup remains one of the top sports events, as we continue to achieve our global prominence as a major equestrian gathering in the UAE and the Middle East.

“A central goal for FBMA is to inspire women in the local community by empowering them to pursue leading roles in the sporting world.

“Through the FBMA International Show Jumping Cup we hope to continue enabling the women of our nation to reach their goals, and give them the platform they deserve to be successful in the professional world of sport.”

Thursday’s competition gets under way at 11am while Friday and Saturday  have 9.30am starts.