Doha: With national COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in phases and the Qatar Olympic Committee's (QOC) recent announcement on the resumption of sporting activities after July 20, the Longines Hathab – Qatar Equestrian Tour Organising Committee has confirmed that season three action is ready to start again. The third season of the annual series, which started in October 2019 and was originally scheduled to conclude in April this year.
It had been suspended, after the completion of the 9th Tour, in line with national health guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Longines Hathab Tour 10 will now take place on August 7 and 8, Tour 11 on August 14 and 15, and the Tour 12 finale over three days on August 27, 28, and 29. All Tours will be held at the Qatar Equestrian Federation, and will feature only the showjumping (Individual and Teams) discipline.
Dressage and Future Riders competition, which were a part of the earlier legs, will not be taking place. For the health and safety of equestrian fans, the respective tours will be held without spectators in the arena.
However, fans of the series can follow the thrilling action live on Al Kass TV. Longines, ExxonMobil, and Salam International are the main partners of the series, which is open to Qataris and residents of Qatar.
The Event Director, Ali Al Rumaihi, said: “The Organising Committee is very happy to confirm that the series will resume. We have put in a lot of effort in trying to make the third season of the Tour the best so far.
Everyone was very happy about the way the season was progressing, including riders and event partners, and then the postponement came just as we were entering the final exciting stages of the season.
“We really appreciate the support of our Tour partners, Longines, ExxonMobil, and Salam International, during this time. Of course, we were and are aware that there are greater things to consider than sport.
COVID-19 has changed the way we live, and we have to do everything we can to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved.
“We have taken this into account when planning for the resumption of season 3. Unlike other sports, horse riding is generally a contactless sport. The nearest person a rider gets into contact with is the horse’s groom. The safety of our riders and everyone involved in the Longines Hathab – Qatar Equestrian Tour is paramount, and we will put all necessary precautions in place to ensure their health and wellbeing.”
Hathab, meaning “canter” in Arabic, is an initiative of H E Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the QOC. The competition series is organied and hosted jointly by Qatar Equestrian Federation (QEF) and Al Shaqab, member of Qatar Foundation.