Diana Al Shaer harbours the hopes of competing in Paris Games 2024.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
She wears many hats and serves each one of them with dedication and distinction. She is an international Grand Prix dressage rider and sports cultural diplomat and trainer.
She is also Chair of the Dressage Committee for the FEI Regional Group (Middle East and North Africa). So, who is better than Diana Al Shaer to champion the cause of boosting the popularity and development of dressage in the Middle East?
Her responsibilities include popularizing dressage in the Arab world and guiding aspiring riders in the sport. Despite being assigned the task, Diana believes it will take four to five years to popularize dressage.
Diana, an International Grand Prix dressage rider who represents Palestine, is the first Arab woman to compete at the World Equestrian Championships in dressage (ECCO FEI World Championships in Herning, 2022).
“Dressage is still uncommon in the Arab world, therefore, only a few years ago the International Equestrian Federation’s Middle East and North Africa regional group decided to establish a dressage committee, which I head,” she said. She is highly impressed with the talent and potential the UAE riders have. Diana visits the UAE frequently and trains Emirati riders in dressage.
“The right strategy and concrete efforts, including government support, are required to develop dressage in the Middle East because dressage is, unfortunately, less popular and developed in our region than ot her disciplines like showjumping or endurance,” she said.
Despite missing the Tokyo Olympics due to an injury to her horse, Diana has high hopes of qualifying for the Paris Games, which is scheduled to take place in 2024.
To secure a ticket to Paris, the Palestinian rider will take part in Olympic qualification events including CDI Al Shaqab (Doha), CDI Hagen (Germany), CDI Aachen (Germany), CDI Compiegne, and CDI Jardy (France).
CDI stands for Concours de Dressage International (International Dressage Event) and recognized by the world governing body of equestrian sports, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).