One of the biggest highlights of the UAE dressage season, the FEI World Dressage Challenge 2011, took place last week at the Emirates Equestrian Centre.
This prestigious event, which sees the very best of the UAE dressage riders compete against the world, was kindly supported by Bonjour Equestrian Supplies.
Bonjour Equestrian Supplies graciously funded the Gala dinner and awards evening. They are an annual supporter of this event and this marks three years of participation with the FEI World Dressage Challenge.
The main objective of the FEI World Dressage Challenge is to give riders who are based in remote countries the opportunity to compete on a global stage without having to leave their own country, as well as to encourage the new generations of riders.
A total of 55 countries and their National Federations have participated in the event this year. The participating countries are divided into 11 zones. The UAE, in Zone 4, competed against Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.
All competitors in each class were put through the same test, adjudicated by the same ground jury of two FEI-appointed international judges, who travel to each country within the Zone. This year the judges were Mrs. Joan Macartney of Canada and Dr. Slawomir Pietrzak from Poland.
The competition featured Prix St Georges (PSG), Advanced, Medium, Elementary and Preliminary classes for the Senior riders, and, for the up-and-coming junior riders, both Elementary and Preliminary classes.
The UAE continues to maintain its standing as an improving contender, with its riders yet again producing fantastic results.
Lynn Al Redha was the star of the evening winning convincingly both classes she rode in.
Al Redha, on her imposing Scottish bred stallion Tartan Special, competing at Prix St-Georges level, the highest level in the FEI World Dressage Challenge, won the class with a score of 67.96%, and is currently placed 4th against all the competitors from other countries competing in the FEI World Dressage Challenge (FEI WDC).
Al Redha also rode in the Medium Class, and set the bar high riding an inspiring test on the Hanoverian mare Roma. The mare, owned by Al Redha’s sister Lesley Sayle, was in top form scoring a 71.13% the highest score for the night. Currently this has the pair in 2nd place over all against the other competitors riding in the medium class in the FEI WDC.
Al Redha comments “I couldn’t be happier with my horses, they really gave me everything they had tonight. I still can’t believe how well they have come on considering they have only been back in training five weeks!” Al Redha spends a lot of time in the UK over the summer working on her breeding operation Lynaire Sports Horses.
“Scotty (Tartan Special), my stallion, really impressed me tonight, he was a little antsy in the warm-up I think I was over riding him, but as we went into the test he took charge like a professional and basically said “this is all about us, let show them!” I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
The Advanced Class was won by the talented Dutch bred gelding Tristan ridden by Susanna Foustok. Foustock earned 65.88% on the gelding and was very pleased with her score.
In the Elementary class the competition was tough and a well matched competition saw the top three riders finsish with less than 1% between them. Riding a lovely consistent test on her mare Kengarth Danielle the eventual winner was Lesley Jones with a score of 65.20%.
Christine Khairallah finished in second place on the Emirates Equestrian Centre’s riding school horse Dan’s Boy closely behind with 65%. In third place was Alice Laugher riding the Trakehner gelding Celt on 64.73%.
Dr Kathryn Jahn rode a lovely harmonious test on her part Arabian gelding Ghareeb to win the UAE round of the Preliminary Adults class. Bettering her performance last year where she placed second. The pairs score was 66.03%, beating Tracy Wyngard-Gill on her Holsteiner gelding Erkan into second place with 65%. In third place was Michelle Woolmer on Celtic Clover with 64.66%.
The Preliminary Juniors class was won with an impressive score of 68.02% by Alexandra Millar riding her grey Connemara cross gelding Mistral De La Vigotte. Currently this score has Millar in second place against the other riders competing in the FEI WDC. In second and third places respectively was Sarah Khairallah riding Flagmount’s Crackerjack 63.79% and Jasmin Hanson riding Nazik 63.02%.
In the Team competition, the selected riders were Lynn Al Redha riding Roma (Medium), Tiina Visuri riding Quattro Nuevo (Elementary), Tracy Wyngard-Gill riding Erkan (Prelim Adults) and Dr Katrin Jahn riding Ghareeb (Prelim Adults). All team riders produced good scores for the evening giving the UAE a current standing of 6th against the rest of the FEI WDC countries that have competed to date.
The final overall results for the FEI World Dressage Challenge 2011 are expected to be out mid December after all the countries in Zone 4 have competed.