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Saturday, October 1, 2022

A Young Athlete Making His Mark in the World of Show Jumping

Please introduce yourself.

I am Fares Azouni, 16 years old Canadian Palestinian. I have lived both in the UAE and Canada. I am a show jumping athlete currently based in the UAE. I compete in national and international show jumping events held in the UAE and other countries. 

When did you commence your sport’s journey or what brought you to the show jumping world?

Well, horse riding has been my hobby since I was six years old. Slowly, I became more curious about the sport and started practicing show jumping. Very soon, my hobby turned into a passion and eventually a dedication to becoming among the best show jumping athletes. I began training and preparing to compete in national and international show jumping events at the age of 13. I have mainly trained in the UAE and Germany but also in England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. 

Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports in the past.

I started my international competitions representing Canada in the summer of 2021 in a CSI2* event held in the UAE. In the same year, I started representing Palestine internationally. My first major international competition for Palestine was the FEI World Challenge held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in November 2021. I won first place among some of the best junior athletes coming from different countries in the region. I was ranked 4th in Asia and qualified Palestine for the first time in its history to the Youth Equestrian Games (an event organized by the FEI as a replacement for the Youth Olympic Games which was cancelled due to the Pandemic). I participated in the Youth Equestrian Games held in Aachen, Germany from 22 June to 4 July 2022, where I competed along with 30 young talented athletes from across the globe. I was placed fourth in the Team Continental Competition. 

Year 2022 was just the second year of my show jumping journey but was full of success and rewards. I came first in the UAE Longines Final Championship and third in the UAE Longines League. On a regional level, I achieved the third position in Group VII/ Arab League Championship and came second with Team Palestine in the 2022 Nations Cup.

I have achieved various other placings such as fifth place in the UAE Challenge Cup Final and 6th place in the CSI2* show jumping event held in Chiemsee, Germany in September 2022. 

Wow! That is a lot at this young age. Okay, so what was your most successful season in sports?

Thank you! My major achievement was participating in the 2022 Youth Equestrian Games. Competing in Aachen is a dream for every show jumping athlete. I feel privileged for having this opportunity at a young age. The competition, arena, crowd, talented athletes and everything around this event is just so special and memorable that has given me more strength, motivation, determination, and experience to continue moving forward. Hopefully, this is just the start of an incredible journey. 

Apart from personal achievements, what other objectives do you have? 

My objective is to inspire young athletes around the world and show them that nothing is impossible. With hard work and dedication, dreams can become true. 

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of sports?

Yes, of course, I do! I enjoy karting, golf, and football with my friends and family. I also like to listen to motivational music. 

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