108 events spread over 6 Continents
12 January 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival unveiled the 2017 Calendar of Events with the addition of new countries hosting 108 events, both on and off the track.
At a press conference held at the Eastern Mangrove Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director, HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), spoke of the growth of the 2017 calendar. She confirmed that the progress since the 2009 launch of the Festival has only been possible due to the initiatives and action by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
“We also acknowledge the great support the Festival’s activities have received from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World,” she stated.
Festival Begins in Oman on 20 January, 2017
The first event for 2017 is in Muscat, Oman on 20 January, followed by no less than 108 events on six Continents.
Algeria to Stage Festival Racing
“Algeria is a country that will make its debut in staging Festival’s events, and following the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor regarding the huge potential there, we are staging three Wathba Stud Farm Cup races and one leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFHRA),” Ms. Sawaya stated.
“Algeria is a fertile venue for racing with good potential and hopefully the Festival will support and be able to help to re-establish the races there including the development of the infrastructure, where possible. They already have 130 horses in racing during the 10-month season plus one breeding center, but they have no rating or handicapping system. Algeria will also join IFHRA (International Federation of Horse Racing Academies) after the next general meeting in February and that will raise the number of member countries to 52 nations.
“We have also added one Apprentice event to the Oman calendar while breaking new ground in the USA with Mammoth Park hosting the first-ever Arabian race in its history. Turkey will also be a new venue, and Germany is back in the Festival’s calendar. In endurance, Spain will be part of the Festival for the first time,” she said.
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup
At the top of the racing program is the Festival’s 14-race Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series which will culminate in the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Crown Jewel (Group 1) race on 12 November in Abu Dhabi. The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship series will work off 14 events around the globe while the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship series will see 12 races before the grand finale.
New Wathba Stud Farm Championship Cup for Abu Dhabi
Ms. Sawaya also announced a new Wathba Stud Farm Championship Cup in Abu Dhabi where the top horses of the Wathba Cup races in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain will compete in the Dh 150,000 Wathba Stud Farm Championship Cup which will be run on the 12 November finale.
“Three of the top performing horses in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup based on points earned, will be competing in the Sheikh Zayed Cup to be held on the sidelines of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference in Morocco from 1-7 May 2017,” Ms. Sawaya explained.
Wathba Stallions for UAE Breeders
“Furthermore, special rates for semen from the Wathba Stallions are on offer for UAE breeders including free semen for the winners of selected races at Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. These are from top stallions Raaziq, Mushrae, Areem, Lahib, Naseem, and Musharab,” said Ms. Sawaya, who heads Wathba Stallions.
Darley Awards Hollywood, USA
“The prestigious Darley US Awards and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak International Awards will be held at the Dolby Studio in Hollywood on 31 March, while on the sidelines, the US $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Stakes will be held at the Santa Anita Park,” she stated.
HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup
An equally expanded program for endurance rides under the Festival’s umbrella was announced which included the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies CEIO Cup, and the World Championship for Young Horses. The rides will be in France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. “We will also make a few changes to strengthen the UAE Ladies team that will take part in the rides in Europe,” Sawaya added.
Meanwhile, the partners, associates and sponsors of the Festival once again pledged their strong support and backing for the huge effort towards promoting the UAE history, heritage and culture.
The National Archives was represented at the press conference by Dr. Abdulla Raisi, Salama Al Qubaisi represented General Women’s Union, Ahmed Al Qubaisi from Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Mubarak Al Nuaimi from Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Ahmed Al Mazrouei representing the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Stefano Daneri and Munira Almarzouki representing the National Feed and Flour Production Company, Nadim Lahad from the Emirates Airline, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda representing the breeders and owners, Pat Buckley from Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Faisal Al Rahmani, representing Al Ain Equestrian Club.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.