Saudi success in show jumping underscores shift in equestrian order, helps its Olympic future
Washington Post | 8.8.12
Saudi Arabia appeared on the equestrian show jumping map in at the Sydney Games in 2000 when Khaled Al Eid won an individual bronze. He qualified for London but had to withdraw in July after his horse, Presley Boy, developed laminitis, a painful inflammation of the hoof.
Some had considered the Sydney medal a blip, an aberration, but in fact it was a project now 20 years in the making to turn the kingdom so long associated with the Arabian breed into a show jumping power.
“The horse has always been a big and important part of our culture,” Bahamdan said after his ride. “You see it in paintings, in art and poetry. We grew up with horses all around us.”
The Sydney medal, he said, showed not only Saudis but the rest of the world that with the right horses and training, Saudi Arabia could make it in show jumping as well.