CSIO Roma: Omar Al Marzooqi’s Rise in Show Jumping

Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi UAE Doubai de Hus CSIO Roma

Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi riding Doubai De Hus at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena 2024 (c) Stefano Secchi

From Family Legacy to Olympic Dreams: The Journey of a Young Equestrian Talent from the UAE

Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi is quickly becoming a name to watch in the world of Show Jumping. At only twenty-one, this talented rider from the United Arab Emirates has already made a significant mark on the sport.

Growing up with a father who was a former show jumper and a leader in UAE equestrian sports, Omar’s passion for riding was sparked early. With his family’s strong support, he has developed into a skilled competitor, taking part in major international events like Piazza di Siena. In this interview, Omar shares his journey, the influence of his family, his training routines, and his dreams for the future, including his aspirations for the Olympics and beyond.

First of all, I’d like to thank you for having me here. I started my show jumping career through my father. My father is a former show jumper and chief of the United Arab Emirates. He did a lot of things, so I got into the sport. I used to go with him to the stables, ride some ponies, and so on,” Omar shares.

Competing at prestigious events like the Piazza di Siena, Omar prepares himself and his horses meticulously to perform at their best. “Piazza di Siena is such a prestigious event for all show jumpers. It’s a five-star event and has a Nations Cup. The name is enough. Piazza di Siena has been here for ages, so it was one of my dreams to come here and compete. We’ve gained a lot of experience, even though we had some circumstances and didn’t get the best results we wished for. But at least the experience here is phenomenal. I’m happy to be back here, and hopefully, we’ll win a Nations Cup or the Grand Prix.”

Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi riding Doubai De Hus at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena 2024 (c) Stefano Secchi
Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi riding Doubai De Hus at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena 2024 (c) Stefano Secchi

Omar attributes much of his inspiration and success to his parents and key figures in his life. “Of course, my parents. Their support is phenomenal. My dad, my mom, and especially Sheikh Abad Mahmoud Hazan Hayyan, the owner of Al Shira’a Stables. With her full support and building us up to the Olympics, it’s such a big thing for us.”

Discussing the differences between show jumping scenes in Europe and the Arab world, Omar notes, “In Europe, there are a lot of people and big riders. In Arab countries, we don’t have this many big riders. But I think we have decent riders and some upcoming ones. Hopefully, in the next few years, we’ll raise our game in Europe as well.”

Omar’s recent success in Italian international shows with his horses Chacco Bay, Enjoy De La Mure, and Doubai De Hus has been notable. He explains how he organizes their training: “Each horse has its own training and way of preparation. We’re building Enjoy up to the Olympics. He’ll be my main horse for the Olympics.

Chacco is a new horse for me; I’ve been riding him for two months, and the results with him are amazing. I won the Grand Prix with him in Montefalco two weeks ago. Dubai had amazing results as well, even though it’s a sport with ups and downs. We’re trying to maintain our consistency, like the big names in the sport.”

Omar describes Enjoy the Amour’s personality with affection: “Enjoy is amazing. He’s always happy, always wants to jump, and is always excited. He likes to have his own way in the warm-up and wants to prove himself in the arena. He’s like a young boy with a lot of energy who wants to show everyone what he can do.”

Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi riding Doubai De Hus at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena 2024 (c) Stefano Secchi
Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi riding Doubai De Hus at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena 2024 (c) Stefano Secchi

When asked if there is a horse he holds particularly dear, Omar replies, “Obviously, Enjoy. And also Doubai, because I started with her when she was four years old. I’ve won a couple of Grand Prixs with her and she has jumped up to 1.55 meters. I’m pleased with her progress.”

Omar’s father has had a profound influence on his career. “He influenced my career because he’s been in the sport for almost forty years. He has been in Europe with the young tops and worked with many big trainers. The experience he gained in forty years, he gave to me in ten years. Now I’m twenty-one, and I have most of his forty years of experience. Hopefully, in forty years, I can do the same for my sons.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, Omar aims to surpass his achievements. “Yes, and hopefully be even better.”

Looking ahead, Omar’s goals are ambitious and clear. “The Olympics are coming up in August, but hopefully, it’s not my last Olympics. I hope to compete in more, maybe two or three or even four, as many as I can. I’m trying to maintain my consistency in the sport and raise my country’s name everywhere.”

As Omar continues to rise in the show jumping world, his journey serves as an inspiration, marked by dedication, family support, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

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