Al Shaqab is a new and impressive monument to the growing equestrian interest in Qatar.
The stadium complex—which is entirely devoted to horses—rivals the world’s major sports venues of any discipline. The structure is an award-winning architectural extravaganza, designed by the renowned architectural firm of Leigh and Orange (based in Hong Kong) and includes an outdoor arena, air-conditioned performance arenas, lounges, restaurants, a warm-up arena and track, and a full-service riding academy. Expansive press rooms, serving mainly Europe and the Middle East, are outfitted with the most sophisticated technology and flanked by observation lounges.
Our visit to Al Shaqab coincided with the final 2013 Longines Global Champions Tour competition. We had the opportunity to visit with American rider Reed Kessler after her first competition in Qatar. She too was awed at the facility, commenting,“It was so thrilling to ride in this stadium. It’s just amazing!”