September 15, Abu Dhabi~The organizers of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival on Thursday announced the Festival’s Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup calendar for 2012 with the series visiting nine countries.
The announcement was made a press conference held at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre by Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.
Also present at the press briefing were Sami Jassim Al Boneain, chairman of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR), Ahmed Khoory, Vice President of Emirates airlines, Essam Abdullah of Emirates Arabian Horse Society (EAHS), Stephen Bowey, executive director (marketing) Invest AD, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (ADEC), Talal Al Hashmi of Abu Sports Council (ADCC) and Suzan Santesson representing the Fegentri Cup.
The Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and co-ordinated by ADSC in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society with support from Emirates airlines, Invest AD, Areej Al Ameerat, La Sirene, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2011, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
“The 2012 calendar of the Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup series includes nine races and makes its debut in Victoria, Australia on Jan. 27, 2012. This will be followed by races in Sam Houston (9-3-12), Casablanca, Morocco (4-5-12), Newbury, UK (19-5-12) Hoppergarten, Berlin (10-6-12), Taby, Stockholm (10-7-12), Warsaw, Poland (26-8-12), Craon, France (3-9-12) and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (in November, 2012).
HH Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup made its debut at the Duindigt race course in the Netherlands and UAE’s Fatma Al Marri and Shattra Al Hajjaj made their flat-racing debut.
“We express our gratitude to all the establishments which are sponsoring the races. Our thanks to all those individuals who have put in much effort in organizing the races so successfully and we welcome on board our new sponsors Emirates airlines,” said Sawaya.
‘IFAHR is proud to be associated with this event and we are grateful to HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for his continues support for equestrian sports,” said Boenain.
“As one of the world’s leading international airlines we are honoured to now be part of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Racing Festival. Emirates sponsorship of this prestigious event will commence from the new racing season. Horse racing is part of Arabic heritage and Emirates are committed to supporting the sport of horseracing both in the UAE and internationally,” said Khoory.
“We are also honoured that this festival will have the HH Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup race series as part of the Festival. This women jockeys-only race is an excellent way of supporting female jockeys and testament to HH Sheikha Fatma’s pledge to help women jockeys progress in this elite sport,” Khoory said.
Essam Abdullah hailed the success of the Festival and thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor for his unlimited support to Purebred Arabian racing.
Nuaimi said: “The Abu Dhabi season will start is fast approaching and the one of the highlights will be this year’s HH Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri in October.
Patrick Buckley racing director at ADEC, said the race will be held on Oct. 30 and the total prize money on offer is Dhs 130,000.
Bowey of Invest AD said: “We are proud and privileged to be supporting the Festival for the past three years and it has made tremendous growth and the Festival’s Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup. The success is a tribute to the vision of HH Sheikh Mansoor.”
Representatives of all the nine countries also spoke at the press conference, thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor and pledged full support to the events and ensure their success.