27 August, Stockhom, Sweden~UA Bey Shaka, ridden by lady jockey A. Hollstenius, did everything right to land the Wathba Stud Farm Cup for Purebred Arabians at the Täby Racecourse in the Sweden capital Stockholm on Saturday on the turf.
The winner covered the 1950m distance of the trip in 2: 16: 09 seconds to lead by a length ahead of runner up Maggia in the hands and heels of Jacob Johansen as the horses crossed the finish line. A delighted Swedish owner said after the race that she was confident UA Bey Shaka would be difficult to beat in the light of the brilliant form he has been displaying in recent starts saying that she will continue to send her horse to the festival races. The same opinion was echoed by the lady jockey A. Hollstenius who said that she didn’t doubt the chances of her horse to make it a winning start on Shaikh Mansour festival debut.
The event which attracted 13 top Europ-based Arabian horses was held under the directives of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of the Presidential Affairs and organised by the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority (ADACH) , Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Wathba Stud Farm and sponsored by the Invest AD, Bonyan International Investment Group (Holding) LLC and Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2010 .
The race was attended by the UAE ambassador to Sweden Shaikha Najla Al Qassimi, Saudi ambassador Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Gidaie, Kuwaiti ambassador Ali Al Nikhailan, the Swedish Middle East, North Africa ambassador Robert Ridebridge, Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival and a big crowd of horse owners, connections and racegoers.
Meanwhile, the Uzbek designer Adelia Bakhtiaroba said she’s excited with the race and delighted to be associated with the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup race series.
In the meantime, the Swedish diplomat Robert Ridebridge said: “The festival will enhance the already strong bilateral relationships between the two countries. Sports have always been very special in deepening the links between nations, organisations and individuals.”
The UAE ambassador to Sweden and Scandinavian countries Shaikha Najla Al Qassimi said: “The Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival has become a landmark for Purebred Arabians races and industry across Europe. Arabian horses have always carried our culture and rich history to the rest of the world because they have been at all times part of our identity heritage.”
Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival commented: “The directives of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the driving force behind our efforts to achieve the noble goals and objectives of the festival.
“I would like to thank HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, for her strong support to the amateur lady riders and the UAE women by availing them the opportunity to show the best of them in sports in general and equestrian in particular.”
Sawaya unveiled that the prize-money of the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup will be raised to Euro 25.000 while the prize-money of HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup will be increased to Euro20.000 and both events will be held in Stockholm next year. “But Wathba Stud Farm Cup which carries a total purse of Euro 8.000 will be held in Malmo,” she noted.
The Saudi and Kuwait ambassadors also lauded their thanks to Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for promoting the Arabs history, culture, heritage and identity through the Arabian horse around the globe.Stephen Bowey, Executive Director (Marketing) of Invest AD said, “it is exciting to see the Festival of Sheikh Mansour reaching this important part of the world which will add more thrill to the festival.”