HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) unveiled

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      April 14, 2012, Abu Dhabi~  The H.H Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival have announced a prize fund of Euros 50,000 and a car for the Ladies race series which will now be run as HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR).
At a press conference held at the ADNEC premises today, Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of the H.H Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival unveiled the new additions which was received warmly by the women jockeys, owners and trainers present.
“Under instructions from His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and with support from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the Emirates Women’s Union,  I am glad to announce that the name of the series will be HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) and with this the scope and status of the series will be enhanced tremendously,” Ms Sawaya said.
“We have already run three races since the start of the year and all those will be included as part of this Ladies World Championship. To start with we have earmarked a prize fund of Euros 50,000 and this will go to the club or country whose jockeys have amassed the most points through the nine races before the final race in Abu Dhabi on November 4, 2012.
“Points (five each for participating) and three, two and one point respectively for the first three positions will be given to the riders but these will go to the club or country they represent,” Ms Sawaya explained.
“At the end the club or country, be it amateur or professional, will be given this  prize money of Euros 25,000, Euros 15,000 and Euros 10,000 for the top three respectively,” she said.
“The most important aspect is these races will now be open and we will be inviting at least one professional lady jockey to take part. This will not only boost the image of the championship but will also give a chance for our amateur jockeys to race and improve their skills,” she said.
“All winners of the first nine races and a few invited lady jockeys will then be invited to race in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi racing season which is likely to be November 4, 2012,” Ms Sawaya said.
“And the winner of this final race will drive away with a spanking new car,” Ms Sawaya announced.
“We will be working out the finer details and sending them out to the connections and lady jockeys soon,” she said.
Abdullah Al Qubaisi of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority welcomed the world championship for lady riders and said, “The Festival has achieved so much in three years and through this championship I can further state that we have moved from words to deeds in enhancing the Arabian racing and promoting women jockeys.”
“We will be giving more details of the championship but for now it is a huge shift from being an amateurs’ race series only to a more open event.  Thanks to the success of the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup races held in the recent past now the lady jockeys get a chance to pit their skills against the professionals.  IFAHR pledges to work hand-in-hand with the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship to improve both Purebred Arabian racing as well as throw up new openings for lady jockeys in the Gulf and Arab countries,” said Sami Al Boenian, Chairman of IFAHR.
Talal Al Hashimi of  Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Khalid Bel Jaflah , Emirates Vice President, Commercial Sales (UAE), Stephen Bowey, Executive  Director, Marketing of Invest AD, May Al Absi, PR and Media representative of General Women’s Union also addressed the press conference and welcomed the innovative additions to the Festival’s race series.
The H.H Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by  Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
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