Local Riders Set to Shine at Emirates Equestrian Centre’s FEI World Dressage Challenge

        Dubai, April 19, 2017 - The UAE leg of the 2017 FEI World Dressage Challenge will be hosted by Emirates Equestrian Centre on Friday April 21, when some         of the UAE’s top horse and rider combinations are expected to compete.

The main aim of this event is to nurture local talent and offer UAE-based riders the opportunity to compete in an international dressage competition without having to travel outside the country.

Instead FEI international dressage judges travel across the globe to rank competitors based on their performance. Each country is placed in a zone with the same judge visiting every country in that zone.

Points earned through the FEI World Dressage Challenge count towards a global ranking for individuals and teams.

The UAE’s best performance at this event came in 2012, when the team claimed the world title, and it has maintained a record of impressive results ever since.

In the 2016 world classification of individual ranking out of 56 countries participating, UAE’s Pia Kjellstrom on San Diamond and Susanna Foustok on Don Rodolfo claimed the top two spots in the medium class; Line Moen was third in the advanced class on Purebred Arabian Al Khattar W’rsan, while Dianne Breeze aboard Bellisimo Vita finished eighth in the Intermediate 1.

The FEI World Dressage Challenge is in its 37th year. The UAE leg is supported by the Meydan Group, through its subsidiary, Dubai Equestrian Club which oversees Emirates Equestrian Centre.  It is one of the highlights of the UAE’s dressage season.

Spectators are invited to attend for a fun day out with the family and the chance to watch the best in the UAE compete on an international platform.

“The FEI World Dressage Challenge, is key to the progress of the sport here in the UAE, as it allows young emerging riders the chance to compete with top class pairings from across the world, under international rules, and to be evaluated by international judges,” said Lilian Sternvad, Dressage Coordinator at EEC who has been part of the UAE’s journey in the competition for over a decade.

Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, which oversees all operations at EEC said: “It is always a pleasure to host international events at the Emirates Equestrian Centre and the FEI World Dressage Challenge is special to us, as it is geared towards supporting our local riders, and preparing them for international competitions at a higher level.

“The UAE has been performing well at this challenge over the years, and we expect a high level of competition this year as well. We invite fans of the sport to come and support the local athletes, and to enjoy a great day out at our facility.”

Clive Halsall , a 4* FEI judge from England is the invited FEI judge, while Kirsty Mephan has been appointed as the second judge(representing UAE)  on duty this year. Participants will compete at different levels including the following tests:  Intermediate I, Prix St- Georges, FEI Junior Team Competition test, FEI Children Individual test, and the FEI Children Team Competition test (which is for riders aged between 12-16 years).





Picture credit: DEC and Martin Dokoupil