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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 10/02/2021.
Amelia White and Genius 60 will be competing at CHI Al Shaquab in Doha (QAT)
Photo credit: Focussed.nl

Amelia White and Genius 60 Prepare to Compete in Doha

High Performance Para-Dressage NEXT Squad rider Amelia White and her horse Genius 60 are about to embark on an exciting new adventure after accepting an invitation to compete at the prestigious CHI Al Shaquab competition in Doha (QAT) at the end of the month.

The combination who are based in Germany will be flying to Doha next week, accompanied by many of the world’s leading dressage, showjumping and para-equestrian athletes, ahead of three exciting days of FEI competition.

The CHI Al Shaquab presented by Longines, will be held from 25 – 27 February 2021 at the Longines Arena in Doha. The CHI Al Shaquab is one of only five CHI competitions (Concours Hippique International – international competitions with three or more disciplines) worldwide and the only one of its kind in the Middle East and Asia region.

This will be the very first time that Amelia has flown internationally for a competition, and with her sights firmly set on Tokyo 2020 Paralympic team selection she plans on using the experience as a test run for the postponed Games. 

“It is the perfect practice run for Tokyo, I can see how he [Genius 60] flies, how it all works and how he pulls up. He is very lucky to be travelling with his stable mate [who will be competing in the Dressage competition] so he will have someone he knows with him” explains Amelia.

“It is also the first time I am flying internationally to compete, it is the first time my horse will be flying and the first time my groom with be flying with the horses. I am so excited and I think it is an amazing opportunity. If you had of told me I would have had this opportunity when I first came to Europe to train I wouldn’t have believed you. It is terrifying and exciting at the same time to be on a plane with the best dressage, para and jumping riders in the world!” describes Amelia.

In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic the event is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance and protective measures will be strictly enforced.

“Basically no one is allowed to fly out of Germany right now so I have received special dispensation to travel to Qatar, which is why we are flying out four days before trot up and to also comply with the restrictions in place there. I am in pre-isolation now and am only travelling from home to the barn and we will be Covid tested before departure and also on arrival. 

“The event itself is a quarantine bubble. We will have our own drivers, wear masks, observe social distancing, and receive testing before we leave. When we get back we will also be tested and stay in another isolation bubble at home. Everyone is very aware of the severe Covid measures in place to minimise risk. The event is trying so hard to make the competition happen in the current environment and it will be really good to see how it works, especially ahead of Tokyo,” explains Amelia. 

It won’t just be the strict Covid-19 measures that Amelia and Genius will face upon arrival in Doha, but also a very different temperature to what they are currently experiencing in Germany.

“It is currently -20 here in Germany and we have two metres of snow! In Doha it is about 26 degrees and 75% humidity, and we will have no days warmer than -5 here before we fly out next week. We know horses acclimatise well and as far as humidity goes we have very humid summers here so I think Genius will cope ok, I may struggle more than him,” shares Amelia.

With the biggest opportunity of her competitive career ahead of her Amelia is both excited and nervous in equal measure and the current global pandemic is providing an additional element of the unfamiliar.

“This will be my first international competition without my normal support team so it will be very different. My parents are huge supporters, and my husband who is in Australia due to the Covid situation. I haven’t seen him for a year and a half. We were hoping they may have been able to come, but with travel restrictions in place it is not possible for them to meet me in Doha”.

Although her usual support network cannot be by her side in Doha, one thing is certain, the Australian equestrian community will be cheering Amelia and Genius on from home – wherever that may be.

We will be following Amelia and Genius throughout their journey, to keep up to date with their adventure follow us on social media.

To visit the Australian Equestrian Facebook Page click here

To visit the Australian Equestrian team Instagram Account click here

To visit the CHI Al Shaquab presented by Longines event website click here

 

 

 

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