ABU DHABI // Kamal Bahamdan received a timely boost for next month's President's Cup Five-Star show jumping competition at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club. The 38-year-old Saudi rider held off a sustained challenge from the Emirati pair Mohammed Ghanem al Hajri and Ahmed al Juneibi to claim the Abu Dhabi World Cup qualifier, the showpiece event of the three-day championship, at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. "This was only my second competition since August and it has been a good one," said Bahamdan, the most experienced participant in the Abu Dhabi event with four Olympic Games and heading for his fourth FEI World Championship in Kentucky, USA, in October. "My participation was purely to prepare for the Ghantoot competition and not to qualify for the World Cup in Geneva later in the year.
"However, next in my itinerary is the five-star competition from February 2. There are not many events with five-star status. "So I'm looking forward for this competition more than anything else at this time of the year. It will bring some of the best riders and horses from around the world." Bahamdan rode the 11-year-old gelding Mashalla Rivaal to claim the prize on a better time from al Hajri on Shakira 94. Al Juneibi clocked the fastest time on Picobello Wodeina but a couple of faults put paid to his chances. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org