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The top 20 international show jumpers have all accepted invitations to the world’s richest ever show jumping event. The inaugural Al Maktoum Challenge held in Dubai (11 – 13 January ’06) will offer a staggering prize fund of $1,250,000.

Four riders will be flying the British flag at the three-day show. Nick Skelton has entered both Arko III and Russel, while Michael Whitaker will be riding Portofino 63 and Mozart des Hayettes. Exploit du Roulard and Lactic II will be accompanying John Whitaker to Dubai and Tim Gredley is partnering Omelli and Fabriana Hann.

With the world’s most talented competitors flocking to Dubai, The Al Maktoum Challenge is sure to have wide spectator appeal. The climax of the event will be the Maktoum Grand Prix, with its prize purse of $760,000.

“This will be one of the most exciting shows ever staged in the world, perhaps the most exciting in the history of the sport,” said Simon Brooks-Ward, event director of the Al Maktoum Challenge. “The quality of riders will be on a par with the Olympics and we are therefore assured of some of the finest show jumping competitions that the world has ever seen.”

The show is the brainchild of Dubai Equestrian Club President, HRH Princess Haya, wife of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. It will take place at the Emirates Riding Centre, located next to Nad Al Sheba racetrack, and is being organised by Horse Power International, the company behind the hugely successful Olympia International Horse Show.