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Al Shaqab (Arabic: الشقب ) is Qatar Foundation’s (QF) equestrian centre  in the State of Qatar, where Arabian horses are trained. Founded in 1992 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, Al Shaqab joined QF in 2004. Al Shaqab is now the region’s leading equine education resource centre and features the breeding of Arabian horses.
When the Al Thani ancestors, the ruling family of the State of Qatar, migrated out of the Arabian Desert three centuries ago to settle in Qatar, the Arabian horse was a vital part of daily life.The Arabian horse played an important role in the founding of Qatar.
Al Shaqab takes its name from a historic battle against the Ottomans. Taking place in the town of Al Rayyan in 1893, the Battle of Al Wajbah, or Al Shaqab as it is also known, saw the Qataris, led by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, defeat the Ottomans. This historic battle eventually led to Qatar’s independence.
The emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani established Al Shaqab in 1992. In honour of his ancestor, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, he chose to establish the breeding farm at the site of the Al Shaqab battle. In 2004, Al Shaqab became a member of Qatar Foundation.
The Equestrian center features facilities such as:
- Administration & maintenance compound – an area for finance & administration, human resources, communications & marketing, facilities & maintenance, transportation management. It also serves as a warehouse.
- Breeding & show centre – stallion, broodmare, young stock, foaling and breeding units. There 142 A/c stables with ancillary service units and paddocks. Hydrotherapy and exercise machines are also available.
- Accommodation for competitors, attendant grooms and staff. En-suite rooms with communal lounges, dining areas, meeting rooms and parking.
- Dressage stables – 20 A/c stables with access to shaded arenas and hacking trails plus paddock areas.
- Emiri stables – H.H. the emir's stables and majlis. Marble and stainless steel bespoke the stables housed in an elliptical A/c structure.
- Endurance stables – 60 A/c stables with access to sand & fiber training track and washed sand canter track, shaded arenas and hacking trails plus paddock areas.
- Equestrian club – clubhouse with swimming pool, restaurant, gym and leisure facilities with a panoramic view of the equine complex.
- Equine exercise centre – state of the art air conditioned equine hydrotherapy and exercise units incorporating swimming pools, equine Jacuzzis and dry treadmills and horse-walkers with integral lunging units.
- Indoor arena – 100 metres by 60 metres field of play. 6,000 seats all housed within the air conditioned arena.
- Outdoor arena – 120 metres by 80 metres field of play semi roofed.
- Riding academy – a full service Riding Academy equipped with the infrastructure to teach all levels from beginner to national team level.
- Show jumping stables – 20 A/c stables with access to shaded arenas and hacking trails plus paddock areas.
- Stable administration – the nexus for the administration of the dressage, show jumping and endurance stables with a full service farrier unit.
- Veterinary centre – a full-service equine hospital, clinic, and laboratory.
- Warm up arena – the part of the arena that is used to prepare the horse immediately prior to competition.
Al Shaqab’s breeding philosophy is to preserve the Arabian breed and to produce horses that are beautiful, athletic, and have character and kindness. They must be physically strong to carry their riders.
The breeding program is divided into three categories: International Arabian horses, combining all Arabian bloodlines; Straight Egyptian Arabians, as defined by The Pyramid Society; and the traditional Qatari bloodlines of the past.
The three World Champion Stallions are key to the program and are among the finest Arabian horses: Gazal Al Shaqab and his son, Marwan al Shaqab head the International Arabian section and Al Adeed Al Shaqab leads the one for Straight Egyptians.
The Stallions bred by Al Shaqab include:
- Al Adeed Al Shaqab
- Amir Al Shaqab
- Fadi Al Shaqab
- Faraa Al Shaqab
- Farhoud Al Shaqab
- Gazal Al Shaqab
- Hadban Al Shaqab
- Jadaan Al Shaqab
- Kahil Al Shaqab
- Marwan al Shaqab
- Nader Al Shaqab
- WN Star of Antigua
Al Shaqab’s Endurance Department was developed to promote and further build interest in Qatar’s equestrian heritage. Since its development in 1997, Al Shaqab has risen as one of the world’s top Endurance competitors.
In 2008, the Al Shaqab team achieved its greatest international success. Representing the State of Qatar at the World Endurance Championship in Terengganu, Malaysia, the team finished second out of the 24 competing countries to earn the silver medal in the competition.
Al Shaqab’s Team competes annually throughout the Middle East and Europe, having its largest campaigns in Qatar and France. In recent years, the team has also travelled to competitions in South America, United States and East Asia.
Home of the Qatari National Team, the Endurance Center at Al Shaqab prepares Qatari competitors for national, regional and international endurance events, including the European Championships, the Asian Games, and the FEI World Equestrian Games.
The current team, headed by HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, is a group of Qatari officials and riders.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- "History of Al Shaqab". Al Shaqab. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "World Architecture Festival". worldarchitecturefestival.com.[permanent dead link]
- "Interactive Map of Facilities". alshaqab.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2011-11-24.