Meet Emirati Show Jumper and Philanthropist Amna Bani Hashem

Lindsay Judge   |   25-07-2022

Award-winning Emirati Show Jumper Amna Bani Hashem has ridden horses for the UAE’s Godolphin team, and now she has her sights set on the Olympics.


With qualifications in thoroughbred riding, breeding, horse care, transportation, and stable management, she is an expert in her field and a multi-talented athlete who hopes to inspire a generation of women with her passion for sport as she continues to ride, as well as being an international advocate for women’s empowerment. Here, we find out more about her journey so far, and what’s next on her path to success.


Tell us about your journey to becoming a showjumper, what first inspired you to become involved in this industry?

What inspired me to pursue a career in show jumping was the horses themselves. The human/horse connection stole my heart. Strangely, I did not have any family or friends who were involved in the sport, and riding was not a trend at the time. It was a matter of fate, something that felt like the love of horses was a gift from God.


My first teacher was at Reem Al Abbar stables. She was a very strong woman, as well as a very talented rider that loved what she did. Her passion was felt by others, and translated into her riding. I will never forget how she taught me how to lead a horse, and how to get on. That memory is ingrained in my mind and this is where my passion began. I started show jumping in a humble farm stable in Al Ruwayyah. I did my first competition three months later in Abu Dhabi on a horse called contender challenger. Later on, I progressed to buy my own horse, named Victorious. I competed with him at a low level for two years and after that, my efforts were recognised by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who sponsored me to be a part of his team in flat racing. I later returned to show jumping a few years later, only to win the UAE championship in my first season back. I have been competitively show jumping ever since, and hopefully for many more years to come.




As well as show jumping you juggle many different roles – how do you manage your time? 

I had to develop discipline and respect for time. I realised that time is very valuable and I need to spend it on something productive. I had a lot of ambitions, so if I wanted to get them done I needed to make the time. In essence, we all have time to do everything we want but it is a matter of how serious you are about doing it.


Tell us about your interest in competitive shooting?

Shooting came as a surprise on my journey. It started at a friend’s private shooting range where they handed me a traditional rifle and dared me to shoot a small rubber square in the distance.

They didn’t think I’d get it.. but I did. I got the second one too. They, later on, pushed me to join some competitions in which I performed quite well.



How do you think it has become more accepted for women in the Emirates to compete in sports at the highest level? 

I think the UAE has really created a space for women to excel in any field professionally. In regards to show jumping, a woman has the chance to reach high levels if she works hard and has the drive and determination to. However, a woman who is self-funded in this sport can reach her goals in a more direct way with more control over her decisions.


What is your biggest achievement so far and what would you still like to achieve?

My biggest achievement would be winning the UAE championships in 2021 and being recognised and awarded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Another achievement was my invitation to complete leadership skills at the royal military college Sandhurst. My goal now is to be on the international scene.



What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your life and your career so far? 

Overcoming a near-death experience because of an injury.


We are looking forward to the upcoming Emirati Women’s Day – what does this mean to you and what is a message you would share with other women in the UAE?

For me, it means to me to be united. And to find myself in other women and them in me. It is a celebration of unity and trust and different people coming together as one.




We know you are an advocate for women’s empowerment, tell us why this topic means a lot to you and how you think gender equality has progressed in the UAE?

Women are the backbone of society and although I am an advocate for empowering all people, as a woman, I love to see other women grow, excel and receive equal respect. I encourage women to challenge gender stereotypes in the region and laud female achievers who pave the way in male-dominated sports. When it comes to supporting my gender, I aim to inspire and set an example. I feel the UAE has made significant efforts to progress gender equality which is a true testament to the country’s devotion to its people.


What is something you would still like to see happening on this subject?

I would like to see more women speak up about their experiences openly and feel safe to seek help if they feel they need it.


When you are in a world that is highly dominated by men, how do you ensure that your voice is heard?

Be calm but hardworking. Results speak louder than words.


What is a message that you would send to other young women to encourage them to chase their dreams?

Believe in yourself and your vision. That is key for you to keep going when things get tough.



Who has been your biggest support throughout your journey?

My biggest support has been my best friend; Muna, she has always been my personal cheerleader and a solid rock for me to lean on in hardship.


What is the motto that you live by?

Take small, yet consistent steps and cover thousands of kilometres in distance. That is my philosophy. 


What else is in the pipeline and what do you want to achieve in 2022?

I have many exciting goals and opportunities currently in the pipeline. The one I am most eager about is starting my own business.