DOHA, Qatar, March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The stage was set: a true championship course following the Olympic format; two rounds and a jump off with fences measuring around 1 metre 60, built by world- class course designer Frank Rothenberger; 43 combinations from 18 nations, and a prize fund of 500,000 Euros – the most valuable in the world. The crème de la crème of global Jumping. It could only deliver a thrilling finale to four days of great sport at CHI AL SHAQAB 2016. And it did not disappoint.
Ludgar Beerbaum, the man they call 'The Grey Wolf,' wrote another riveting chapter in CHI AL SHAQAB's rich history by claiming the Grand Prix, and with it the 165,000 Euro first prize. And, three testing rounds of jumping ultimately diminished the field to produce a German one-two-three on the podium, with Daniel Deusser and Christian Ahlmann taking second and third.
The Grand Prix was a test of extreme endurance, speed and athleticism; with 16 jumping efforts over 13 numbered fences, with riders and horses travelling a distance of more than 100 metres in under 84 seconds. There was both a double and a treble combination, while the water tray also challenged competitors to the max. The time of 400 metres per minute - equivalent to a course time of 84 seconds - also required riders to keep pedal to the metal while keeping the fences up.
By the end of Round One, the 41 riders had become 18, and they faced off in a second round test of nerve over 11 numbered fences with 13 jumping efforts. Riders could not relax until they cleared the last fence, with problems evenly spaced around the course.
Once Round Two was over, only five riders had survived by producing two clear rounds. They proceeded to a jump-off that provided a spectacular finale to the thrilling Grand Prix, as only two competitors - Beerbaum and Deusser - cleared the course without fault.
Beerbaum, who has been competing internationally since 1984, was quickest. The German rider had planned to retire after the London Olympics, and those assembled at Al Shaqab will be grateful for his change of mind as he rode peerlessly to victory.
The 52 year old has won two team Olympic golds and one individual gold, but his aim is to secure one more, and the Rio Olympics is firmly on his agenda. If he can hold his nerve in Brazil as he has done in Qatar, he could yet engineer a golden end to a stellar career.
About AL SHAQAB:
The Father Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, founded Al Shaqab in 1992 to preserve and further develop the Arabian horses in Qatar. AL SHAQAB is led by HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and encompasses an Endurance Team, a Breeding & Show division, and a Riding Academy.
In 2004, AL SHAQAB proudly became a member of Qatar Foundation. AL SHAQAB's mission is to be global leaders in preserving, improving and promoting the Arabian horse breed through setting the highest standard in breeding, show, equestrian arts and equine welfare while encouraging community participation.
Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF) is a private, non-profit organisation that is supporting Qatar on its journey from carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential, for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Qatar Foundation was co-founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF's work encompasses education, research and community development. World-class universities are brought to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. At the same time, QF builds Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising solutions through key sciences. The Foundation also works to foster a progressive society while enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar's heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
For a complete list of QF's initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa
SOURCE Qatar Foundation