The Longines Hathab - Qatar Equestrian Tour restarted on Friday after a four-month hiatus as Salman Mohamed al-Emadi clinched the Medium Tour title during the 10th leg of the championship.
At the Qatar Equestrian Federation's Indoor Arena, Al Emadi astride riding Zorro Z were in prime form despite a long break without competition as they cruised to a comfortable victory. The duo finished their round in 52.06 seconds, more than a second faster than second-placed Mohammed Saeed Haidan. Alqaqa Adel Nassar finished third in 55.77 seconds.
There was plenty of drama and excitement in the Small Tour as Khalifa Abdulla Al Khaldi and Mohammed Nasser al-Qadi were declared joint winners after both the riders clocked an identical time of 27.96sec. Al Khaldi was astride Dusty, while al-Qadi combined with Vlacido to put in the spectacular round. Hamad Nasser al-Qadi finished third with Hugo Z in 28.45 seconds.
The third season of the equestrian series was halted after nine rounds in March due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. Now with relaxations in place, the organizers - the Qatar Equestrian Federation and Al Shaqab - have decided to conduct the remaining three rounds.
Omar Al Mannai, Vice Chairman of the Longines Hathab event, was delighted with the restart of the competition and said it shows the commitment of the organizers to finish the third season. "The resumption of Hathab confirms the commitment of the organizing committee towards sponsors and competitors. We are conducting the championship by adhering to the precautionary measures adopted by the authorities in the country to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)," he said.
"Completing this season was vital for us, as it will have a positive impact on riders and the sport in general. Before the start of the tournament, the participants were subjected to a coronavirus test in coordination with the Qatar Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Public Health to ensure their safety.
"We are committed to applying the highest standards to ensure the safety of all participants in the championship," Al Mannai added. He confirmed the fourth season of the Hathab series will begin in October, one month later than scheduled.
On Saturday, Open Class (115-125cm) and Big Tour (130-145cm) competitions will take place at 4 pm and 6.45 pm respectively.
Cover image credit: Al Shaqab
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