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Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahayan Al Nahayan: Sport unifies people. The world is getting smaller and ...

Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahayan Al Nahayan: Sport unifies people. The world is getting smaller and ...

Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahayan Al Nahayan: Sport unifies people. The world is getting smaller and sport is getting bigger all the time. You can get many nationalities in a sport and it is all peaceful. Not so with politics. Here in equestrian sport, the riders are friends and wish each other luck.

Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahayan Al Nahayan: The more sports places is better for the youngsters, it is better than walking in the malls and going to the cinema. They can improve their talents in so many areas.

GoldenHorse News Tour:
Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, is 23 years old in Abu Dhabi. He is a leading rider in the United Arab Emirates and regularly represents his country in international competitions.  Sheikh Shakhboot praised the Global Champions Tour for helping him progress from 2* competitions to the 5* classes. He rode for the UAE at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky on his Grand Prix horse Muscaris D'Ariel and took part in the 2011 Pan Arab Games. He is passionate about equestrian sport which is part of the ancient culture and tradition of the Arab world.

Sheikh Shakhboot started riding ages three but stopped for several years after a fall. He says: one day I went to see the late Sheikh Zayed (ruler of Abu Dhabi) and he said he had heard I was riding but told me I was too young for the strong horses and to wait until I was older and stronger. And it was good advice. So Sheikh Shakhboot waited a few years before starting riding again and benefitting from excellent training at riding school.

Family is the backbone to his life, pride and love of his country and his keen philosophical and intellectual interest in global affairs and how history has shaped our world. He can be earnest but also has a mischievous sense of fun. And, of course, there is show jumping.
The young Emirati is tall, elegant and softly-spoken. But he has a sharp intellect which gives him a deceptively steely edge. As part of the ruling family in this immensely wealthy and influential Gulf nation, he has a deep interest in history and international affairs.

He says, “I hope to study for a Masters in international relations and I want to do some time in the Army as well. I believe it builds your character and independence, you thinking and values.”
After months of protests and upheaval across the Arab world he says of the unrest: I hope for everyone, not only in the Arab world, to have a good job. It is the only reason why there is unrest. It is about a basic need for a job and a living.

His passion for horses is shared with his wife, who is particularly fond of Arabian horses. As well as spending time with his family Sheikh Shakhboot often attends official functions and openings with his father HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. And when he can find time he catches up with friends.

He says, “I really like Japanese food and Italian and we have some great restaurants in Abu Dhabi”.

“I started jumping six or seven years ago, I had been riding on and off as early on I had some accidents. I started again with the basics; you need the basics so that when you reach the high classes you must be strong at this higher level and have a good skill level. I have always loved horses since I was a child; I used to ride ponies and flabellahorses for a friend and I would walk horses for fun. I think show jumping is an easier sport to train for because all you need are the horses and the jumps, whereas with even ting and endurance you need much more open space”.
He believes, “The key of my performing well is listening to my trainer and making sure that I have prepared my horse well. I need to concentrate and ride with my mind.

“I have been riding my best horse Muscarus D’Ariel, for two years, I jumped him in the World Equestrian Games very well, I have got to know him and he has also become familiar with me.My second horse Vitesse Greenfield I have been riding for four years”.

Arcen Ciel de Muze (Gelding, 13 years old), Linotte de Groom (Mare, 14 years old), Muscaris d' Ariel (Stallion, 13 years old), Tinka Bell (Mare, 15 years old), Urgent (Gelding, 12 years old), Valentino Balia (Gelding, 11 years old), Vitesse Greenfield (Mare, 15 years old), are other horses of Sheikh Shakhboot.
“I like horses so much, but because we inherited it from our parents, our grandparents and our ancestors. Horses are a deep part of our culture and heritage. Horses would be at weddings when the riders would stand on a horse’s back and put on a show holding hands, or for battle and we have great pride in our long association with Arabian horses”.

“In equestrian competitions, you can’t say who will win. Horses are not like motorcycles or cars. One day they are good, one day they are bad, it depends on the environment, the atmosphere and the ground. You can never know”.

He continued, “Like many thousands of young Emiratis, I am grateful to our country’s wise and inspiring leadership and their unlimited support, UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan Deputy Commander of UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi”.

“I would like to thank Jan Tops, founder of the GCT, for allowing me to compete and participate in the tour. My very first GCT show was in Valkenswaard, it wasn’t difficult because I was jumping the two star circuits when I started. The special invitational 2* as a whole has played a big role in my career, I started to ride the five star circuits, which I worked up to this level over time. I managed this with help from my father who pushes me and motivates me very much. Also I am fortunate to have the committed support of my trainer and the whole team.  I reached my goal which was to ride at the World Equestrian Games thanks to the GCT shows and getting experience competing at this top level. It was the best preparation for the World Equestrian Games because you ride with mostly but not always the same riders and horses and get used to the pressure and the competition environment”.

He continued, “GCT means a lot. First of all, as I have said Jan is a great friend of mine as well as his partner and fellow rider Edwina Alexander. I feel like I am part of the GCT. For the show itself if I don’t jump, I still need to feel involved and attend the events. On the one hand because the show is so prestigious, the riders and organization is top quality. But on the other hand I feel I am part of it on a personal level, I went to the show in Monaco and it is so special. I thank the GCT for their presence here because it motivates us and inspires us. GCT is about being with the best riders, to be able to ride with them at the same event, to see them and learn from them”.

“Global Champions Tour has a big exposure through the media, TV and newspapers, and that is so important in getting people involved, he said. It is really good for the sport to see it growing around the world and personally it is good to see lots of local riders coming up because we get better competition, better horses and better talent”.

“Young Arab riders, who have not had the chance to compete overseas and only see those riders on television, will now have the moment to see those riders ride and their good horses live in GCT. They each have a difference principal and way of riding. The Global Champions Tour is also very good for our tourism. The GCT has good media coverage especially for the final round and that is what put United Arab Emirates on the equestrian map and it leads to coming many tourists to my country from the entire world”.

The final show of the 2011 Global Champions Tour is being held in Abu Dhabi and comes a few days after Sheikh Shakhboot’s 21st birthday, a pivotal time in his life. And his rise through the international ranking of the show jumping world is testament to his dedication to the sport and his desire to see it develop even faster in the Gulf and wider Middle East region.
“The sport of show jumping is growing very much in the region, he commented. When I first started at the national shows in the UAE about 100 riders would attend, but now it’s more like about 300 riders and there are a lot more coming through”.

“This sport is an endless sport, the more you ride, the more you compete, the more experience you get. There is no limit, you learn all the time”.

“Standardsfor the sport are growing every month. The World is getting smaller and the sport is increasing and getting bigger. I am very happy to see a lot of young riders come on in the UAE and that means our horse riding future will be bigger and more challenging. We have a lot of riders coming on and we can see that they are going on the right track”.

Sheikh Shakhboot says about Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi: “I am very much excited about Al Forsan venue. The sport is growing and the number of clubs to ride in gives more opportunity to choose which club they want to ride with. Al Forsan is one of the leading sports clubs in Abu Dhabi and Emirates in general as it has go karting, shooting, horse riding of course, paint balling and water skiing, it is wonderful. As an Emirati I am very proud we have something such as this in the Emirates for youngsters. The more sports places we have to go is better for the youngsters, it is better than walking in the malls and going to the cinema.They can improve their talents in so many areas”.

Sheikh Shakhboot believes that sport unifies people. “The world is getting smaller and sport is getting bigger all the time. You can get many nationalities in a sport and it is all peaceful. Not so with politics. Here in equestrian sport, the riders are friends and wish each other luck”.

Finally, this Emirates Rider underlines: “Abu Dhabi is my home town and every second I spend in Abu Dhabi is the best. I wish better days for equestrian society in UAE”.

Sources:
GCT Life Magazine
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.globalchampionstour.com


6 آبان 1392
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