The final pre-event of the 2015 WorkdSBK season saw a selection of riders from the paddock head into the desert for an in-depth look into the world of Arabian horse shows at the Al Shaqab equestrian centre.
Upon arrival Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Alex Phillis (Grillini SBK Team), Ayrton Badovini, (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team), and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were given a guided tour of the impressive Al Shaqab facility, part of the Qatar Foundation and renowned for ensuring a cultural legacy is passed on from generation to generation.
The riders were given an insight into the daily routines of the many show horses at the complex including their dietary and training habits before being escorted around the many stables.
They were able to see some of the unique training regimes that the award winning centre boasts, including a specially converted treadmill for the horses to exercise on and a purpose built swimming pool that the show horses use on a daily basis.
As the tour continued the riders were shown the Stallion stables that houses some of the future world champions along with a number of retired horses that are now used for breeding.
Al Shaqab has recently seen a number of foals born, including one that was a mere 12 hours old, the WorldSBK stars were given an exclusive glimpse of the new addition.
The final part of the event saw Jordi Torres and Leon Camier chosen to ride two of the horses, Camier clearly a natural on his first horse riding experience.
Returning to the track, the riders were able to join their fellow competitors for an important 2 hour track familiarisation session as the season’s first races under floodlights are scheduled to take place on Sunday evening.