Rabat, Morocco – October 12, 2019 – Under full moon and perfect illumination from the floodlights, the Morocco Royal Tour CSI 4*-W & CSIO 4* closed its third day of competition last night at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in the nation’s capital.
The feature class of the day was the €25,000 Prix Maroc Telecom CSIO 4*-W, contested by forty-seven combinations according to a winning-round format and run on a 1.45m course designed by Alan Wade (IRL).
As we walked the course, several riders were seen discussing the approach to the double (oxer + vertical) at number 8, a sign that perhaps it would be the most difficult question to be answered.
As the contest began, neither the two obstacles (numbers 4 and 10) with liverpools nor the triple (number 5) were a major concern, although, the latter did cause a refusal and elimination at element c. As the class went on, the double at number 8 proved to be the a problem.
Twelve combinations qualified for the second round backed by clean performances, including: Ibrahim Hani Bisharat (JOR), Roberto Turchetto (ITA), Simon Delestre (FRA), Emeric George (FRA), Abdullah Al-Sharbatly (KSA), Marco Litterscheidt (GER), Pedro Veniss (BRA), Alain Jufer (SUI), Rodrigo Mesquita Marinho (BRA), Tiffany Foster (CAN), Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA) and Samantha McIntosh (NZL).
Ibrahim Hani Bisharat (JOR) took off and was aggressive to the double (number 8), taking a tight approach. However, it was not the day for the Jordanian, later on knocking down two poles.
Roberto Turchetto (ITA) dared Adare and once again the 14-year-old bay mare (Royal Bravour x Burggraaf) responded for the first double clear in 36.09 seconds, a mark that would eventually earn them bronze honors.
Simon Delestre (FRA) followed aboard Casall 16 (Casall x Cantus), repeating the clean scorecard but with a slower time of 36.96 seconds.
Abdullah Al-Sharbatly (KSA) & Gain Line
Going fifth in the order and in pursuit of his second win of the day, and perhaps feeling more confident, Abdullah Al Sharbatly (KSA) pushed Gain Line (Stolzenberg x Raphael) towards a lightning performance, taking over the lead in 34.80 seconds.
Out of the remaining 7 contestants, there would still be two very fast combinations to come, with Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA) left with the task of dethroning the Saudi.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Brighton
As usual, the Canadian looked very clean and smooth on her turns aboard Brighton (Contendro II x Quick Star), leaving all the poles up for silver honors, just nineteen-hundredths of a second slower than the eventual winners.
Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA) set off in pursuit of his third victory in the tour so far, riding the same mount that earned him two victories in Rabat. Once again, he seemed to be very fast aboard High Quality J (Quadrillo x Nabab de Reve) but the last obstacle came down.
So it was another win for Abdullah Al-Sharbatly (KSA), with Tiffany Foster (CAN) in second and the early leader Roberto Turchetto (ITA) rounding out the top three.
Abdullah Al Sharbatly (KSA) & Gain Line during the awards ceremony
Winner’s Circle – Abdullah Al-Sharbatly (KSA)
About the Victory & the Morocco Royal Tour
First of all, I would like to thank God for this victory and that we are safe. It was not an easy class to win, it was really quick. There’s an elite of European, African and Asian riders in this tour, there are a lot of good riders in this tour. I haven’t seen such a large amount of great riders all competing in one show as much as I have seen here at the Royal Morocco Tour. Each rider has a chance to win, so they were all trying and it was really quick.
Yesterday, the Grand Prix was like a race, really fast, so it’s very competitive, more competitive than anywhere in the world. I haven’t seen a horse show that has more competition than here. But it was very nice to win today, it was really competitive and fast. My horse has already won a couple of classes with me, I love him. Actually, he is a friend of mine.
His Relationship with his Horses
“I love my horses, they are my sons, I love them so much. I spend most of the day with them, I try to ice them, every horse of mine gets their spa boots, get in the spa two or three times a day. They are all out of the box in the field most of the day. I make sure that all the horses are happy as much as possible because a happy horse will do everything for you. But if there’s no emotion, if there’s no friendship between you and your horse, you’ll absolutely get nothing.”
You must have a big relationship with you and your horse. And your horse must be happy all day. He needs to feel that you are busy with him, you can not just leave him in the box.I suggest taking the horse out as much as possible, give him grass as much as possible, have a relationship with him as much as possible. A happy horse will give much more than a horse who is getting treated like a car. They are not cars, they are animals, they have so much emotion. If you get close to them, they will do anything for you, they’ll be like friends. I like to spend most of the day with my horses, not only riding, sitting with them on the field, in the box, giving them sweets, trying to have a good relationship with them.”
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Photos: © R&B Presse / J. Rodrigues