First beach tent pegging event an outright success: ITPF Chief

March 15, 2017

Oman’s riders in action during the Indian File sword and peg event on the final day of the first International Beach Tent Pegging Championship in Masirah on Sunday

Masirah Island turned out to be a perfect host for the inaugural International Beach Tent Pegging Championship that concluded with South Africa being crowned the overall champion with 533 points on Sunday. 

Hundreds of spectators, including local fishermen in traditional dhows and women cheering the participants, no injuries to any of the riders or horses, intense competitions on each of the three days and the visiting teams carrying back good memories of the maiden championship made it an 'outright success' in the words of the Mohammed Issa al Fairuz, the president of the International Tent Pegging Federation (ITPF).

Oman's riders combined well to pick the overall silver medal with 513 points, while Iraq (511.5) completed the podium with a bronze medal. Seven nations, including the hosts, participated in the first-ofits- kind beach tent pegging event, which also was the first major sports event to be held in Masirah.

Hamad-Riyami

In his remarks to Muscat Daily on Tuesday, Fairuz said, “Frankly, even we hadn't expected it to be such a grand success. The response among the local community was enormous and huge crowds turned up to watch and cheer the riders on all three days.

“The ITPF officials, including the technical committee along with the visiting teams' guests, were all praise for this initiative on the beach that provided wholesome entertainment to the spectators.” He added, “We have decided to hold this event every two years and it would complement the main World Cup that is also organised every two years.

“The next championship is likely to be held in Egypt in 2019, while the 2018 Tent Pegging World Cup will be organised in Moscow.”

Oman’s Riyami named best rider

Adding a feather in the cap of the host nation's successful conducting of the event was the coronation of Oman's Hamad al Riyami as the best rider of the championship.

Riyami was adjudged the best among the 35 riders and Fairuz was delighted with the Omani's achievement. “To be declared the best rider in the world at home is the best thing.

Hamad has made the sultanate proud as he was up against some of the best riders in the world,” said Fairuz.

The world's top seven teams that competed in the championship were selected based on the results of the second Tent Pegging World Cup that in April last year in Cairo, Egypt.

Champion-South-Africa

Egypt had won the overall title, and India, which came sixth, had expressed its inability to participate in the beach championship in Masirah. Besides Oman, South Africa and Iraq, the other teams that took part were Sudan, Yemen, Jordan and UAE.

Jordan and UAE had finished eighth and tenth, respectively, at the Egypt worlds. All the riders were provided loaned horses from Royal Cavalry, the Sultan of Oman Armour and the Royal Guard of Oman cavalry units.

On the first day, Oman took the top honours in the lance and peg event with 125.5 points.

The team comprised Riyami, Hilal al Balushi, Safwan al Maamari, Ali al Balushi and Omar al Hasani.

Yemen (121.5 pts) took the silver and South Africa (119.5) claimed the bronze. The next day featured sword and lemon and sword and rings. The South African riders came out on top with 314 points, a score that proved decisive in their overall push for gold.

Oman (285.5) was second. Basie Nei, Christo van Niekerk, Andre van Niekerk, Johan Jordaan and Norman Mostert comprised the South African team.

On the concluding day, the Indian File event - featuring four riders picking pegs with sword simultaneously - saw Iraq (122) taking the top slot, followed by Egypt (116) with silver and Yemen (105.5) with bronze.

The final day was graced by H H Sayyid Fahr bin Fatik al Said, who gave away the trophies in the presence of Fairuz and other officials.