Success for IFHRA’s Mentorship Programme
4 November 2016, Al Ain, UAE ~ In a memorable day for Polish Apprentice jockey Kamil Grzybowski, he tasted his first win outside his home country in the Al Jimi Cup in a UAE National Day race meeting held on Friday, 2 December 2016, at the Al Ain Racecourse in the UAE.
Wearing the silks of the the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Grzybowski rode Mawahib, and the unraced filly made it a winning start in the 1700-metre contest for Purebred Arabians with a purse of Dh 70,000.It was his 11th race in the UAE while it was a winning debut for the three-year-old Abu Alemarat filly.
Grzybowski is with leading trainer Eric Lemartinel at the Al Asayl Stables as part of the Racing Scholarship Fund, RSF– a first of its kind mentorship program- an initiative of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The funding for the mentorship programme is being done by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival.
Visibly excited about his first win outside his home country of Poland, Grzybowski said that he followed Lemartinel’s instructions from the beginning. “Mawahib is my favourite filly as I have worked with her during my training sessions. The filly is very good and ambitious but also a bit afraid of the dirt track. However she managed to win well once she hit the front with about 200 metres to go.”
Mawahib finished ahead of Af Yatrok while in third was Dubai World Cup winning jockey Fernando Jara on Qannas Al Reef.
“It was an extraordinary feeling to win and I was overwhelmed when I was surrounded by media and television people. After the huge applause from one and all, I’m looking forward to another challenge in the coming week,” he said.
While thanking His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for his support, Grzybowski said the Scholarship helped him a great deal to improve his skill and develop his career. The 22-year-old Grzybowski made his UAE debut last month in Sharjah. “I am very delighted to be part of this Mentorship programme. I am very happy to be in the UAE which is a great place with good and large stables and have the best of Arabian horses.”
Ms Lara Sawaya, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), hailed the success of the Polish apprentice.
“Congratulations to Grzybowski and all this has been possible due to the IFHRA’s Racing Scholarship Fund, a brainchild of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” she said. “We wish Grzybowski more success in the UAE season ahead and also hope he learns and hones his riding skills under the mentorship of Eric Lemartinel and returns as a much better jockey than he was when he arrived here in the UAE.”