Doha,March 11:HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani Vice Chairperson of Al Shaqab signed a sponsorship agreement for CHI AL SHAQAB by which ExxonMobil Qatar, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, will be the main sponsor of CHI AL SHAQAB 2013. The competition shall be held from the 27th to the 30th of March 2013 in Qatar, and shall be the first edition of the annual international equestrian competition to be hosted by AL SHAQAB, a member of Qatar Foundation.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Mr. Fahad Bin Saad Al Qahtani, Al Shaqab Director and CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 President, Ms. Suzanne McCarron, President of ExxonMobil Foundation, Mr. Bart Cahir, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc. and other officials of AL SHAQAB and ExxonMobil Qatar.
The highly anticipated CHI AL SHAQAB equestrian festival will be held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Al Shaqab Chairperson, and HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Al Shaqab Vice Chairperson. It is set to run at Al Shaqab’s state-of-the-art facilities, and shall be the first event of its kind to take place in the Middle East and Asia. AL SHAQAB officials look forward to create unprecedented success in this competition to serve as a motive for continuing the hard work and organizing the event regularly every year.
In a statement after the signing ceremony, HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani said, “Preserving and promoting Qatari culture is part of Al Shaqab’s obligations and a cause we have dedicated much time to. Moreover, the opportunity to host leading equestrian events provides a platform to raise global awareness on our facilities. This is crucial to our nation’s sport strategy, which itself is a central pillar of Qatar National Vision 2030.”
“CHI AL SHAQAB brings together all these elements, and we appreciate ExxonMobil – not only for their support to this event but also for showing great belief in the equine culture of Qatar. The partnership will open doors for more cooperation in the future,” Her Excellency added.
Echoing these sentiments, Fahad Bin Saad Al Qahtani expressed his “sincere appreciation to Al Shaqab Chairperson, HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Vice Chairperson HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, as well as Al Shaqab’s board members for their continuous support and dedication to reach highest levels of success in this competition, which shall set standards for organizing equestrian events around the world. AL SHAQAB has a clear strategy and is working in favour of this sport by organizing the event annually.”
Welcoming the agreement, Al Qahtani said, “ExxonMobil has a long history of supporting equestrian events in Qatar. The organisation’s ongoing dedication to fostering a sport that is inherently tied to the history and culture of Qatar is in line with Al Shaqab’s own vision. This partnership represents a combined effort to promote and preserve the equine heritage and we are proud to be working alongside ExxonMobil to host the first CHI AL SHAQAB.”
ExxonMobil officials expressed their delight in working with AL SHAQAB for this event. “ExxonMobil Qatar is honored to support an event of such national pride that features an important part of Qatar‘s heritage,” said Bart Cahir, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc. “CHI Al Shaqab 2013 will pay tribute to this rich history, while also serving to promote the continued development of equestrian sports in Qatar and around the world. At ExxonMobil Qatar, supporting events of cultural and traditional significance that highlight as well as preserve Qatar‘s unique heritage is an important part of our commitment to the community,” he added.
The four-day festival will play host to an assortment of world-class show jumping, dressage and endurance events with 170 riders from over 25 nations, along with 200 horses, expected to participate. Over 10,000 visitors are anticipated at this prestigious festival, including members of the Qatari Royal Family and other leading dignitaries from the Gulf region, as well as local and international VIPs from the equine world.
In addition, a spectator plaza designed to celebrate Qatar‘s rich heritage in equine culture and sport will be open to all members of the public. The enormous 17,000 square metre plaza will boast an array of family-orientated activities, including a fashion exhibition and trade market, a dedicated ‘kids zone’, an international food court, and a multitude of cultural presentations and events.
CHI (Concours Hippique International – International Equestrian Competition) is the official title given by the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) only to international equestrian competitions comprising three or more equine disciplines over a week, and it is the first time that such an event is being hosted in the Middle East and Asia. The competition shall include three equestrian disciplines over four days, including Show Jumping (CSI 5* and CSI 3*), Dressage (CDI 4*) and Endurance (CEI 2*).
The organizing committee had previously held a press conference at AL SHAQAB premises, in which Omar Al Mannai Event Director of CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 and Khalil Al Jaber, Director of Sports Affairs Department- Qatar Olympic Committee, had joined CHI AL SHAQAB 2013 President Fahad Al Qahtani in announcing the launch of the competition. The officials had announced details of the competition and prizes, and the names of key riders who will gather in Doha to take part in this event.
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