Abu Dhabi, UAE – January 12, 2019 – The region’s first Derby class was won in sensational style by UAE rider, Hamad Al Kirbi (UAE) on Uxmal d’Ysieux at the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show CSI 4* last Friday.
The new addition to the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show schedule was inspired by the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby, which is held at the All England Jumping Course in England each June and is sponsored by Al Shira’aa.
A Derby class is designed with fences that mimic the types of obstacles a horse and rider might encounter if they were in open countryside. The €45,400 1.35m Emirates Motor Company Al Shira’aa Derby course, built by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral, consisted of 14 fences including a wall, water, Hickstead planks and gates.
The 750m course proved a tough test of horse and rider, with the first 15 competitors failing to go fault or time penalty free until Jordan’s Nasouh Kayali and new mount, Adette (Voltaire x Lux) entered the arena.
Adette and Kayali had already proven their credentials against the clock when winning the Z7 Speed Stakes on Thursday. A relatively new partnership at only their second show together, the pair made short work of the course to stop the clock in a time of 85.32 seconds. William Funnell (GBR), winner of the 2018 Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby, piloted Billy Mccain to a smooth, fast clear in 82.92 seconds to overtake him.
The standings didn’t change until the UAE’s Mohammed Al Hajri jumped clear to storm into the lead on Doklahoma (Baloubet du Rouet x Emilion) in a time of 82.73 seconds. As the class progressed it seemed unlikely that his time would be beaten but then Hamad Al Kirbi, 48th on the starting order, rode a fearless round on Uxmal d’Ysieux (Crown Z x Balougran Z) to win in a time of 81.09 seconds.
In the process Al Kirbi beat Funnell, with whom he had been training in the summer, into third place.
“I feel like William when he won the Hickstead Derby,” joked Al Kirbi, who has also competed in the famous class. “I really listened to what he had to say and tried to concentrate. My horse is very fast and I didn’t push him in any other classes because I was saving him for this.”
Hamad Al Kirbi (UAE) in his brand new Mercedes GLA 220
Al Kirbi won a Mercedes GLA 220 which he drove away from the prize giving.
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Source: Press release from Dantani Inc. Sports FZE for Al Shira’aa International Horse Show
Photos: © Jessica Rodrigues
Categories: CSI 4*