Sheikh Mansoor Festival Mentorship Program
28 October 2016, Sharjah, UAE ~ It will be a huge moment for Polish Apprentice jockey Kamil Grzybowski when he wears the silks of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the Sharjah Police Headquarters race in Sharjah on Saturday, 29 October 2016.
Grzybowski is mentored by leading Purebred Arabian trainer Eric Lemartinel at the Al Asayl Stables, thanks to 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 mentorship program, is funded by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival.
With Lemartinel having four runners in the colors of the President, Grzybowski gets to partner Rayaheen, an unraced 3-year-old chestnut filly, in the Dh 25,000 contest on the dirt tracks over a distance of 1,000 metres.
While expressing his happiness to race in Sharjah, the excited 22-year-old Kamil said: “I am very delighted to be part of this Mentorship program. 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.”
While thanking His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for his financial support, Kamil said the Scholarship helped him a great deal to improve his skill and develop his career.
Kamil thanked 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), for giving him an opportunity “to fulfill his dreams” by training and racing in the UAE, which will go a long way in his racing career with the experience he has gained during his tenure in the country.
RSF Mentorship program
The RSF Mentorship program is ongoing and any candidate between the age group of 18-29 and employed within the racing industry either as an amateur jockey or apprentice jockey or involved in some other racing activity is eligible for the fund. The His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival-supported mentorship program lasts a maximum of eight weeks and takes place in a country other than where the incumbent resides.
According to the RSF guidelines, the candidate should have finished at least one year or graduated from a racing academy based in his/her home country or other entity that provides horse racing or related industry workforce training.
Ms Lara Sawaya thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his innovative initiative in evolving a plan to train and fund young riders. She said: “Under His Highness Sheikh Mansoor’s guidelines to help both students of IFHRA member racing academies and employers within the horse racing and related industries, many youngsters have travelled far and wide to gain new experience in their respective equestrian disciplines. Under this unique program, many youngsters travelled abroad for the first time to gain more knowledge.”
“Apart from working abroad in real-world situations gaining experience and benefitting from mentorships, the program offers a long-term benefit to future careers. At the same time, future employers will also benefit from students who have experienced from the IFHRA RSF and who have gained training in the newest practices our industry offers,” Ms Sawaya added.
The board had received 19 applications for the scholarship scheme out of which the RSF Selection Committee zeroed down on 12 applicants for 2016 placement representing Australia, Canada, Hungary, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.