LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC SHOW JUMPING - SAUDI EQUESTRIAN THE FIRST DAY OF COMPETITION
By Rod Kohler for SAUDI EQUESTRIAN
After all the excitement and build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Jumping competition started today at the magnificent arena at Greenwich Park. Against the backdrop of the Greenwich Maritime Museum and Canary Wharf, 75 riders started the 1st Individual Round.
The Saudi Equestrian team, featuring Ramzy Al Duhami riding Bayard van de Villa Theresia, HRH Prince Abdullah bin Miteb Al Saud riding Davos, Abdullah Al Sharbatly riding Sultan and Kamal Bahamdan riding Noblesse des Tess have had a great build-up to the Games and with all the horses travelling well from their base in Wisbecq, Belgium, the team has been looking forward to the official start of the Jumping competition.
Kamal was the first of the Saudi Equestrian team to tackle the 12-obstacle course, and Noblesse des Tess jumped a great clear round but incurred one time fault for going over the 82 second time limit set by course designer Bob Ellis. “It was a nice course, but things will get harder from now on” said Kamal after his round.
Next up was HRH Prince Abdullah bin Miteb Al Saud who jumped 21st. A pristine display of jumping resulted in a clear round from HRH Prince Abdullah which was celebrated enthusiastically by the Saudi supporters in the 22,000 crowd. Ramzy Al Duhami and Bayard jumped 41st, and he joined his team mates in going clear but he also incurred two time penalties. Speaking about competing in London Ramzy said, “It is always a great experience to be at the Olympics and a joy to be competing against the best horses and riders in the world; this is my fifth Olympics but the first where I have had a really great horse, so I am looking forward to the days ahead.”
Last of the Saudi team to jump was Abdullah Al Sharbatly and Sultan. After a desperately unlucky start when he had a pole down on the first fence, Sultan jumped really well and finished with six faults.
Despite the faults, by the end of the competition it was clear that all the Saudi Equestrian riders made it through to the next round and all four will compete in the Second Individual Round.
Saudi Equestrian trainer Stanny van Paesschen said, “Obviously we are delighted that the riders have all made it through to the next Individual Round – the horses all jumped really well and we have a tough competition ahead of us, but today has been very positive for the team.”
For copyright free pictures of the riders competing in Greenwich today and for the complete results, click on the following links:
The Olympic Jumping Individual Round 2, Team Round 1 starts at 11:00 UK time on Sunday 5th August.
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