September 17, 2012, Abu Dhabi ~ The 10th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) 2012 began the festivities with the official visit of HH. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan. He was accompanied by a host of dignitaries, and more came daily during the four-day show.
ADIHEX has grown from the vision of the first edition of 2003 with 40 exhibitors from 14 countries. In 2012, there were 630 exhibitors representing 40 countries. Visitors crowded into the large hall at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Road from 11 am until 10 pm on the four days, bringing friends, children, questions and curiosity.
In addition to pro-active displays, information, a hi-tech bow range, food and heritage enactments, daily there were added events to thrill the public. These included saluki dog shows, dog agility, falcon presentations, horse performances, camel contests and a camel auction.
On Thursday, Dubai’s HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited the show, accompanied by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. They took great interest in the equestrian as well as hunting exhibits.
2012 equestrian exhibitors numbered 36, including France, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Oman, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Emirates of the UAE. These booths and exhibits also brought information about many other events around the world, in fact, representing the entire globe. Exhibits invited guests to learn more about Arabian horse breeding, race courses, online and hard copy magazines, programs and learning institutes for the Arabian horse.
Five booths from the USA (ARAC (Arabian Racing of California), ARC (Arabian Racing Cup, AJC (Arabian Jockey Club), Horsereporter, and TABA (Texas Arabian Breeder’s Association) gave an excellent idea of the US support for Arabian racing worldwide.
Kathy Smoke, President of the US Arabian Jockey Club had this comment about the US participation.
“Michelle Morgan representing Texas (TABA) and the Arabian Racing Cup (ARC), Susan Willis and Mei Davis of California representing ARAC, Sue Meyer and myself (Kathy Smoke) representing the Arabian Jockey Club (AJC) and Corliss Hazard (who works with all the aforementioned creating our websites and advertising ) manned the long hours in their respective booths.”
“Being a part of multi-country equestrian exhibits and having the opportunity to discuss racing (even Camel racing) and horses with such a diverse group of people, who visit the exposition, makes the long 16+ hours of plane travel worthwhile. The efforts of the American representatives alongside the other countries, working tirelessly to promote the passion we share for the Arabian breed and the sport of racing is something that we can all be proud of. Because of these efforts, people from around the world get to know a little bit more about Arabian owners/breeders and the sport we love, here in the USA. Likewise, we get to bring back with us the knowledge of what Arabian racing is like around the globe.
“Since my return, I’ve had multiple emails from vendors looking to do business in the USA and even had a phone call from a middle east country wanting to know more about USA bred Arabian race horses. The AJC website has had an increase in visits as well. It’s rewarding to know that our brochures along with the personal contact is making an impression.
“Our sincere gratitude to Ms. Lara Sawaya and The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival for including us in their efforts to bring awareness of the Arabian horse, culture and heritage to the world.”
Al Ain Zoo, home to an internationally important conservation program that focuses on the wildlife of the world’s arid regions, had a centrally located interactive multi-story exhibit. The zoo is involved in conservation, research, and the captive breeding, propagation and reintroduction of threatened species to their wild habitats. The Zoo contributed to the ADIHEX program with a large display of native wildlife of the desert, including the Houbara bustard, eagles, owls and falcons and a choreographed daily bird show.
A generous contribution by HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who ordered 80 falcons to be presented to the show for viewing and demonstration, gave visitors a good chance to hold, watch, and learn about the birds. These falcons were bred through the Falcon Conservation Project which supports national heritage and the conservation of falcons along with sustainable hunting practices. A survey of falconers in the Gulf found that the Houbara bustard in the wild are still declining due to poaching and unregulated hunting, a great concern to the area.
ADIHEX gives the region an excellent yearly platform to bring visitors and locals together to celebrate the Emirati heritage, learn and exhibit advances in conservation and medicine, and showcase regional and international support. ADIHEX is organized by the Emirates Falconers’ Club with the support of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, in cooperation with the Festival of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Purebred Arabian Horses, the fourth edition of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference (France 2012), Wathba Stud Farm, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Invest AD.
Horsereporter would like to thank HE Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the ADIHEX Higher Organizing Committee and Adviser for Culture and Heritage in the Court of His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and Festival Director, Lara Sawaya, and all organizers and help for the 2012 event.
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