Top riders set for Grand Prix.
The one-day event, which gets underway at 8.30am at the Mounted Police Section Centre in Budaiya, will see the Kingdom's best riders taking part, including veteran Abbas Al Ghuraifi of Al Ghuraifi Stable who steered Big Jumper to last year's Grand Prix title.
The Grand Prix, which is fourth and last class of the day, is a two-round competition which is only open for adults. This competition will start with fences of 120cms in height, reaching up to 130cms.
This class provides a total prize money of BD585 which will be divided into the top five riders.
The winner will get BD160, BD150 for runner-up and BD100 for third place. Fourth will get BD90 and BD85 for fifth.
Among the prominent riders to compete in the Grand Prix are Ali Isa of Hawar Riding School and Ahmed Mansoor, representing the Bahrain Defence Force.
Other top entrants include experienced Sami Ghazwan of Bahrain Riding School besides Yasser Al Shaikh and Salman Faraj.
Ghazwan will enter this competition with low morale after his favourite horse Hadeya died last Tuesday due to high fever.
"I had big hopes on Hadeya, who just completed her ninth year, and whom I was supposed to ride in tomorrow's Grand Prix," said a devastated Ghazwan.
Ghazwan also rode Hadeya to a second-place finish in last year's Grand Prix in the Breef Championship.
"Hadeya was suffering from an unusual high fever and doctors were unable to save her. I was looking to compete with her in this event and future competitions, including the King's Cup Championship on February 22," said Ghazwan who will now take part on his eight-year-old second horse Sondos.
Hadeya, which means 'Gift' in Arabic, was given to Ghazwan by the Crown Prince and Supreme Council for Youth and Sports president Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in 2005 in appreciation of the Bahraini rider's achievements.
"She was my favourite horse as together we won more than 28 national championships besides four international classes. Now I'm so disappointed for this loss and don't know what to do," said Ghazwan.
Tomorrow's event will mark Ghazwan's comeback to national championship after recovering from an elbow injury in October last year.
Ghazwan was in Almelo City in Holland for a three-week training camp during which he fell from his horse on his elbow.
"It was raining when the horse and myself fell during practice in Holland. I had a surgery during which surgeons inserted a metal plate in my injured elbow and I was away for two months," said Ghazwan.
He resumed practice last month at the Bahrain Riding School premises in Budaiya although his doctors advised him not to do so.
The championship, to be held under the patronage of Breef president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, will see three more classes with a total prize money of BD2,000 at stakes.
Copyright 2008 Gulf Daily News
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