Khaled Al Eid has been riding since he was 10 years old, and now, in his 40's remains a key member of Saudi Equestrian. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Khaled and his Belgian Warmblood, Khashm al-Aan, stunned the equestrian world by taking the bronze medal in the individual jumping.
His father, a breeder of Arabian horses near Riyadh, had taught his five sons to ride and carry on the family’s long equestrian tradition. Two of them, Khaled and Fahad, showed early promise of the talent required for top-class competition. Khaled competed in the flat racing circuit with some success, but after three years returned to his first love, show jumping. Both brothers were in the Kingdom’s first international jumping team, and both were trained by the best – Bernie Traurig in the United States, John Whitaker in England and Paul Schockemöhle in Germany.
In 1998, Khaled joined Brazilian show-jumping legend Nelson Pessoa, with whom he established an instant rapport. For two years before the Sydney Olympics and three years after it, he remained with Pessoa, mixing with some of the greatest equestrian talents –budding and established – in the world. “Working with Pessoa,” says Khaled, “I found that Khashm al-’Aan and I had the same rhythm. He had the ability to tackle high, wide, Olympic-style fences, and he gradually accepted being pushed to a higher speed around the course.”
At Sydney in 2000, he thought that, although Khashm al-Aan was in good form, the competition was so stiff that they were unlikely to come higher than 10th place. But a combination of mistakes by the others and their own outstanding performance saw Khaled on the podium to receive the bronze medal. There was jubilation throughout the Kingdom at this, Saudi Arabia’s first ever equestrian Olympic medal . Personal euphoria aside, Khaled’s overwhelming satisfaction was in having done his country proud.
In 2010 Khaled returned to the Saudi team for the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. He had by now teamed up with the fantastic black stallion, Presley Boy, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood. There in Kentucky the team placed eighth (and Abdullah Sharbatly famously won the silver medal) – enough to qualify for the Olympics.
In November 2010 at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, with Presley Boy and Khaled again on top form, the Saudi team won the team jumping gold medal, with Ramzy Al Duhami taking the individual gold and Khaled the bronze. Khaled also has numerous international Grand Prix wins, and has participated in several Arab Games, wining many team as well as individual gold medals – notably in December 2011 where the team won the gold medal in Doha, where later that month the team successfully competed in the Olympic Qualifier.
With his years of experience and calm nature, Khaled takes the perpetual travelling – from home to shows and competitions and training camps and back home again – in his stride.
2011 Pan Arab Games, Doha • Gold Medal in the Team Competition
2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou • Gold Medal in the Team Competition on Presley Boy • Bronze Medal in the Individual Competition on Presley Boy
2010 World Championship, Lexington • 12th as an individual on Presley Boy • 8th as a team on Presley Boy
2004 Tenth Pan Arab Games • Gold Medal in the Team Competition • Silver Medal in the Individual Competition
2002 World Championship, Jerez de la Frontera • 75th as an individual on Khashm Al Aam (ex Eastern Knight) • 18th as a team on Khashm Al Aam (ex Eastern Knight)
2000 Olympic Games, Sydney • Bronze medal as an individual on Khashm Al Aam (ex Eastern Knight)
1999 Ninth Pan Arab Games • Gold Medal in the Team Competition • Gold Medal in the Individual Competition
1997 Eighth Pan Arab Games • Silver Medal in the Team Competition
1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta • 30th as an individual on Khashm Al Aam (ex Eastern Knight) • 18th as a team on Khashm Al Aam (ex Eastern Knight)
1992 Seventh Pan Arab Games • Gold Medal in the Team Competition • Silver Medal in the Individual Competition