Sweden’s National Day at Gardet Park
7 June 2018, Stockholm, Sweden ~ Over 50,000 horse racing fans and Swedish citizens marking Sweden’s National Day at the Gardet Park were served a fine display of racing by the Purebred Arabian horses as the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival completed its fifth year of partnership in celebrating the 6 June 2018 holiday.
In the premier race series of the Festival-the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Listed Cup, it was Macallan that registered a second successive triumph under Martin Rodrigues.
Belgium’s Sara Vermeersch on What A Wonder emerged victorious in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, while Stina Landh on Sjobrisens Bayonett won the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony championship race at Gardet Park in Stockholm.
In the Sheikh Zayed Cup over 1500 metres, it was a close contest in the final 200 metres between Macallan under Martin Rodrigues and Dynamites under Carlos Lopez before the former, a 7-year-old grey son of Dahess out of the top Swedish mare Queen Anne (Riyal), forged ahead to win for the second time in two years. Jaldi Karo, recent winner in Malmo, Sweden on 23 May, now under Andreas Tapia Dalbark, finished third in the €35,000 race. The race was run as part of Year of Zayed marking the great UAE leader’s 100th birth anniversary. The winning time was 1:59.10.
In the ladies race, the home crowd cheered all the way for Anna Pilroth on the popular Athlete Del Sol but Belgium’s Sara Vermeersch steered What A Wonder to victory and qualified for the November final of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship.
Anna Pilroth and Athlete del Sol finished ahead of third-placed Maghazi ridden by Switzerland’s Cheryl Schoch. The winning time for the 2750 metre distance was 3:14.01.
“It was a wonderful show by my horse What A Wonder. We did not have the best of starts but my horse made up and it was a great feeling to finish ahead of Anna who was a favorite. I did qualify in 2016 but did not win so this year I will be hoping to try and win this championship for my country,” said the Belgian rider Vermeersch.
It was a great display by young Stina Landh riding in the Swedish National colors in the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony championship race. In a close contest, Landh on Sjobrisens Bayonett finished ahead of Annie Johansson on Moritz v Tobbenhof to win the second leg of this newly-introduced series and qualify for the final in Abu Dhabi In November. Isabelle Hedman on Norrskenets Grim finished third.
Stina Landh’s mother Famia, who owns the pony, said they had not taken part in the race last year but had put in a lot of training for this race. “We are happy and now looking forward to Abu Dhabi,” said Famia.
HE Sultan Al Kitoub, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, Mohammed Bin Jassem Bin Khalfan, Chargé d’Affaires of the UAE Embassy in Stockholm, 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) and Dennis Madsen, director of racing at the Swedish racing authority, attended the prize distribution ceremony.
Ms Sawaya announced that Romania will be the latest country to come under the umbrella of the Festival and will host races and also the next World Arabian Horse Racing Forum in 2019.
“Today once again we saw a record crowd and we thank the Swedish officials for their support to Purebred Arabian horses. The Festival has grown in stature over the last 10 years and today we are looking to break more barriers, especially for lady jockeys as well as equestrian sport,” she added.
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, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carrier, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFHRA, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abu Dhabi Youth Council, General Authority for Sports and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Nissan Middleast Al Massood Automobiles, Nirvana Travels and Tourism LLC, Equicare Veterinary Services, Alawal Stud, Cavalos Equine Care & Supplies, SET Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Al Awani General Enterprises, Omeir Travels, Kabale, YAS Channel, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohammed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, 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 2018, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.