quotes Where hooves meet history: The FEI World Cup Finals gallop into Riyadh

08 April 2024
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Updated 07 April 2024

Where hooves meet history: The FEI World Cup Finals gallop into Riyadh

The thunder of hooves once echoed across the English countryside, a symphony driven by the thrill of the hunt. These were not your average fox chasers; they were the original extreme athletes, their daring leaps across hedges and ditches evolving into the adrenaline-infused sport we know today — show jumping. Dressage, on the other hand, boasts a lineage as noble as its name suggests (French for “training”). Here, horse and rider become a balletic duo, their movements a testament to years of dedicated partnership, as precise and graceful as a whispered sonnet.

Fast forward to 2024, and these two equestrian disciplines are about to converge in a place that might surprise you: the heart of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.

This April 16-20, the prestigious Federation Equestre Internationale World Cup Series Finals — the equestrian equivalent of the Super Bowl — will be held for the first time ever in the Kingdom. This is not your average horse show; it is a global gathering of the most elite riders and their magnificent steeds, all vying for the coveted title of FEI World Cup Champion 2024.

Imagine the scene: the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, a sleek, modern marvel, transformed into the epicenter of the equestrian universe. The world’s finest dressage duos will pirouette under the lights, their every move a testament to years of relentless dedication. Meanwhile, show jumpers will navigate a course designed to test both equine athleticism and rider nerve, sending shivers down your spine with every daring clear.

A desert bloom

This event transcends mere competition. It is a powerful symbol of Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning presence on the international sporting stage. This nation, steeped in a rich equestrian heritage that stretches back millennia, is now a force to be reckoned with in the global arena. It is a stunning display of the Kingdom’s organizational prowess and evidence of the trust and respect it has earned from the international sporting community.

But the FEI World Cup Finals in Riyadh offer something even more profound — a chance to witness firsthand the deep-rooted connection between horses and Saudi Arabian culture. Here, the sands meet sophistication, tradition merges with cutting-edge innovation, and the spirit of the Arabian stallion continues to gallop strong.

A championship legacy

The FEI World Cup Finals represent a pinnacle of equestrian sport, a platform to showcase not only awe-inspiring athleticism and equestrian excellence but also Saudi Arabia’s remarkable achievement in hosting this world-class event. Show jumping and dressage, disciplines steeped in tradition, demand both precision and artistry and demonstrate the strength of the human-equine bond.

This prestigious event signifies the ascent of Saudi equestrian excellence. Recent successes on the international stage, coupled with world-class facilities and growing public enthusiasm, signal the Kingdom’s readiness to host this prestigious event.

A commitment to excellence

Arabian culture cherishes a deep respect for animals, especially horses. This makes Saudi Arabia a natural leader in animal welfare. Throughout the event, this commitment will be evident. The Kingdom will ensure the FEI’s rigorous standards are not only met but exceeded, setting new benchmarks for ethical championship hosting.

Proven success and unbridled passion

Saudi Arabia’s track record in hosting major sporting events proves its capacity for organization and impactful execution. From Formula One and the Dakar Rally to high-profile boxing matches, the Kingdom consistently delivers seamless experiences for athletes and spectators alike.

This passion for sporting excellence extends to equestrianism. Horses hold a cherished place in Saudi hearts and Arab culture alike, from nomadic roots to modern-day competitive sports. The FEI World Cup Finals offer a historic opportunity to ignite a new generation of equestrian enthusiasts. Witnessing the world’s finest riders and their magnificent steeds compete on the global stage will undoubtedly spark a love for the sport and a yearning for future Saudi champions. The finals have the potential to be a transformative catalyst, fueling the sport’s growth within the Kingdom for years to come.

The Riyadh 2024 experience

We envision a championship that not only honors the FEI’s legacy but also spotlights Saudi Arabia’s unique energy, hospitality, and commitment to pushing the limits of equestrian excellence. This landmark event will showcase not just the largest prize purse in FEI World Cup history but also the first-ever indoor horse jump show in Saudi Arabia. Here, the echoes of ancient poetry praising the horse will mingle with the roar of the crowd as modern-day champions rewrite equestrian history on the sands of Riyadh.

Abdulelah S. Al-Nahari is a business partner for a prestigious marketing solutions firm. He leads strategic growth initiatives in line with Saudi Arabia’s digital-first vision. The key components of his drive for excellence in the industry are his multi-sector awareness, strategic digital foresight and range of industry experience.