9 April 2018, Los Angeles, California ~ The highlight of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Darley Awards Gala Dinner held on Sunday, 8 April, 2018, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Hollywood, Los Angeles, was a commendation received from the California State Senate.
Amidst an evening of music, dance and distribution of awards, Keith Brackpool, Executive in the Stronach Group at Santa Anita Park, delivered a framed certificate of the California State Senate’s commendation to Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) in the presence of HE Abdulla Al Subose, UAE Consul General in Los Angeles.
A California Senate Resolution moved by Senator Edward P. Hernandez, O.D. acknowledged and commended the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the Founder of the UAE and a passionate promoter of Arabian horses.
The year 2018 is celebrated in the UAE as Year of Zayed as it marks the 100th birth anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed.
The activities of the Festival in the name of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs including the Grade I, $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes for Purebred Arabian horses at Santa Anita Park, the Festival’s 90-plus races around the world, its support along with Santa Anita Park for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) totaling $275,000 over the last three years, were commended by Senate in the Members Resolution dated 7 April 2018.
The UAE envoy HE Al Subose and the Festival’s Executive Director Ms. Lara Sawaya thanked the initiative by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and the strong support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Mother of the UAE as the factors for the success of the Festival.
The Gala Dinner was also the stage for the Festival to honor all the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Ladies International Award and the US Darley Award winners, representatives of the sponsors, the UAE mission in Los Angeles, the media and all those associated with the Festival.
Later in the evening, Derek Thompson, horse racing commentator and dinner host, conducted the Arabian Racing Cup’s (ARC) 28th Annual Stallion Auction of renowned stallion services, donated by owners/stud farms. Once again Group 1 winner Munjiz topping the auction with a $13,000 bid while the night’s proceeds were near $40,000, which benefits support Arabian racing programs in the USA. Munjiz is out of the famous US Arabian racing mare, Unchained Melody (Alanudd) and by Kesberoy. Like his dam, Munjiz had a successful racing career.
On Saturday on the sidelines of the Grade I, $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood also received a certificate of appreciation for her support to women and equestrian activities.
The dinner was attended by dignataries including HE Abdulla Al Subose – UAE Consul General, California, HE Mohammed Al Suwaidi – UAE Ambassador to the Oman, Festival Sponsors and Arabian horse racing award winners and enthusiasts.