Abdullah Al Sharbatly. Photos: Kit Houghton/HPower.
Olympic team bronze medallist Abdullah Al Sharbatly notched up two further wins in the international classes at Royal Windsor to take his tally of victories to three so far. The Saudi rider has proved a formidable opponent to the rest of the riders in the spectacular Castle Arena, having claimed a win on each of the three horses he has bought to the competition.
Having claimed yesterday’s Bahrain Pearl Stakes with Andrea, Abdullah, a silver medallist at the last Alltech World Equestrian Games, kicked off today’s classes with a first in the Six Bar on Callahan. He was the only rider to go clear over the fences in the fifth round.
Later, riding Tobalio, he came forward to contest the lucrative Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup. In the final round, he clipped half a second from then leader Andres Rodriguez’s jump-off round with Caballito to stamp his authority on the show.
Ireland’s Shane Breen loosened Abdullah’s grip on the classes by taking the final class of the day, The Falcon Stakes, with Farao Van’T Vennehof. He won the class, run as a Winning Round competition – in which the starters are split into groups and the best rounds from each go forward to a jump-off – by performing an exceptionally tight turn back to an upright Land Rover fence, followed by superb use of his horse’s speed.
“This horse was placed in the Grand Prix here last year with my brother, Trevor,” said Shane, who owns the nine-year-old stallion with his Uncle James Breen and Anatoly Pysarenko. “He’s had lots of second, so it’s good to finally get a win with him. He is Mr Consistent for me.”
The class ran in the balmy evening sun under the shadow of Windsor Castle and attracted a huge crowd of spectators.
“There hasn’t been an empty seat for any class here and the crowd has been so supportive and really enjoying the jumping,” said Shane, who is based at Hickstead, Sussex. “The venue is amazing and the show offers the opportunity to see so many breeds and so many equestrian disciplines.”
Spectacular Driving around Home Park
The marathon phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix provided Royal Windsor Horse Show visitors with a fantastic spectacle on Saturday. Competitors from 11 different nations tackled the eight obstacles spread around Home Park at nail biting speeds and the leader board changed dramatically from the standings after the dressage stage. Former leader Chester Weber (USA) dropped down to fourth place, whilst Glenn Geerts (BEL) who was in ninth place after the dressage claimed top spot. Australia’s Boyd Exell dropped just one place down to third as a result of Koos de Ronde (NED) climbing up from fifth to take second.
Competitors have just got to tackle the cones on Sunday to determine the final results of the prestigious competition. The four horse competition starts at midday.
Services Team Jumping
A long standing traditional competition at Royal Windsor Horse Show is the Services Team Show Jumping and this year saw nearly 100 competitors from 34 different sectors of the services, including the RAF, Royal Navy, Household Cavalry, Kings Troop and Police Force.
However, the victorious team was the Bahrain Defence Force, made up of Kalid Hila Al Khatri, Sh. Isa Bin Salman Bin Al Khalifa and Ahmed Mansur.
They narrowly beat the Wellington College CCF Team B, with third place going to HCMR Team A.
A Special Moment
A special surprise presentation was made to Britain’s first and only blind Show Jumper, Karen Law, at Royal Windsor Horse Show on Saturday afternoon. Karen, who has been blind since birth, was presented with a horse of her own, which was bought from funds raised by RDA Ambassador and former Show Jumper, Emma Jane Brown.
Karen, who was born with bilateral colaboma, which means that her eyes never developed properly, show jumps using a lead horse or someone shouting instructions to help her guide her horse around each course of jumps.
Emma, who is also Karen’s mentor, explains: “Karen is incredibly talented and courageous and jumps big fences at national and international level. She deserves to be able to compete on a par with the likes of Lee Pearson and Natasha Baker – our Paralympic dressage gold medallists and one day potentially compete in Paralympics itself.”
For tickets or to see a full schedule, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.
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