Farah relishes prospect of stiff battle in World Challenge

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Old 22-Nov-2011
Farah relishes prospect of stiff battle in World Challenge

UNP ImageDubai: The UAE's Farah Al Khojai is thrilled at the prospect of some tough domestic competition during the FEI World Dressage Challenge being held at the Emirates Equestrian Centre in Bab Al Shams today.

Nearly 40 riders are expected to participate in this day-long competition that will be used by the world governing body for the sport to judge and rate riders in dressage and showjumping developing countries like Cyprus and Egypt.

"This event is a huge challenge for me as it will give me an indicator of what exactly I need to do to get ready for the next major competition in Doha next month [Pan-Arab Games]," Farah told Gulf News.

"We are all on a growth curve and much of the focus definitely will be on the minor things needed to do well in a prestigious competition like the Pan-Arab Games in Doha next month," she added.

Two judges, one from Poland and the other from Canada, are in the UAE to judge the riders and rank them as per their performances today. All riders go into a league system and get a ranking after being supervised by the FEI judges. The best ten riders are then selected for specialised lessons the following day.


The Emirati rider has spent much of her summer at the famous Hof Kasselmann Stables in Germany participating in smaller events so as to progress in her sport. Last year she was the lone UAE rider at the Asian Games in Guangzhou where she did a creditable job of qualifying for the final round in her category.

"I have not competed as much as I would have loved to, and so I see this FEI World Dressage Challenge as a fantastic opportunity for me and the other riders from the UAE," Farah said.

With the backing of Dubai Duty Free, Farah has charted a course of progress all by herself and her belief that she can keep the UAE flag flying high. Earlier this summer, she acquired a second horse, named Dubai Duty Free Matzuka Graffin (literally meaning ‘Polish Dance Countess') with an eye on the future that includes next month's Pan-Arab Games and the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

"There is a lot of hope as far as dressage goes. I am waiting to meet other competitors, Reem Al Abbar in particular, who are also scheduled to participate in the Fei World Challenge. The interest in this sport is going up and that is a consolation, but there is a lot more that is to be done," Farah said.

Old 22-Nov-2011
Saini Sa'aB
Re: Farah relishes prospect of stiff battle in World Challen

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