Team Ukraine won the Furusiyya Nations Cup against Team Germany and France at CSIO Rome last season to assist in their ascent to Division 1
This week all eyes will be on the Middle East and the intriguing first leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2014 season.
The Ukrainian side looks strong, with the ultra-experienced Ulrich Kirchhoff and Cassio Rivetti providing a firm base for team-mates Oleksandr Onyschenko and Ferenc Sventirmai. Jordan meanwhile fields a side that includes Nasouch Kayali and Ra’ad Naser along with cousins Maysam and Ibrahim Bisharat. The Bisharat family have long been pioneers in horse sport in their country.
The UAE has listed Sheikha Latifa bint Ahmed Al Maktoum, Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri, Abdullah Al Marri and Nadia Abdul Aziz Taryam, while there will be great interest in the side from Qatar as Ali Youself Al Rumaihi has been listed with two horses, one of which is the fabulous Palloubet D’Halong which was so successful for Switzerland’s Janika Sprunger before being sold last year.
Mubarak Yousuf Al Rumaihi, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani, Khalid Mohammed Al Emadi and Faleh Suwead Al Ajami complete the Qatari selection while Syria will be represented by Ahmed Saber Hamcho, Amre Hamcho, Chadi Gharib and Houmam Al Khouli.
However the Saudi Arabian team will also be hoping to clinch one of the two available qualifying spots for the Final as they did last season, and they are sending out their London 2012 Olympic bronze medal winning team of Ramzy Al Duhami, Kamal Bahamdan, HRH Prince Abdullah Al Saud and Abdullah Sharbatly. Armed with a wonderful string of horses they should be the ones to beat, and you can watch the new season begin to unfold by following the live action on FEI TV, starting at 18.25 GST (local time in the UAE) on Thursday 6 February.