Updated October 25, 2012, San Francisco, CA ~The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Arabian Flat Racing Festival has announced an increase in added prize money for the California Wathba Stud Farm Cup races supporting small breeders and owners around the world. In addition to the four Wathba Cup races, the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Cup and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR bring a total of 6 races worth $75,000 of value-added money to the California Arabian racing circuit.
Texas will also benefit from the Festival’s attention as they will again have two races scheduled in March.
Director of Festival Racing and IFAHR Ladies Racing, Lara Sawaya, has confirmed the prize money of $30,000 for the Sheikh Zayed Cup and $25,000 for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR, now scheduled for Texas on March 9 and California on July 6. (Previously reported lower)
California Wathba Stud Farm Cup race dates and location
August 3, 2013 Santa Rosa
August 17, 2013 Ferndale
September 21, 2013 Stockton
October 5, 2013 Fresno
Praise for the Support
Susan Willis, Chair of the Arabian Racing Association of California (ARAC) had this praise for the uptick in prize money:
“The owners and breeders in California are walking on air today after the announcement from Lara Sawaya that in addition to next year’s Sheikh Zayed Cup and Sheikha Fatima Championship Races they will once again be awarded four Wathba Stud Farm Cup races with the added money now at $5000.00.”
“I anticipate the number of horses racing next year to grow with this exciting news. I hope it will encourage horses from Colorado and Texas to participate also. This is the first step in bringing California back to the forefront of Arabian racing in the USA, something that we have been working on steadily for the past two years. With the rise in purses from California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) and the additional monies from the Sheikh Mansoor Festival, California’s fair races have surpassed some of the purses in Texas and are close to equaling some of the purses at Delaware Park. Thank you to HH Sheikh Mansoor, Lara Sawaya, and all involved for gifting California with these races.”
Kathy Smoke, USA Arabian Jockey Club (AJC) Racing Committee Chair adds her comments: “With the high cost of racing insurance in the state of California, raising the level of available purse money creates an enticement to get involved, whether it be first timers or those that have left our industry due to economics. HH Sheikh Mansour’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival obviously recognizes this and is showing his commitment to our breed and sport by increasing his sponsorship of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup purses. What this festival has accomplished in such a short time is no less than remarkable. The USA is thankful to be included in this world-renowned global event.”
“The Wathba Stud Farm sponsored series has proven to be a great success and continues to revitalize the Arabian racing industry in California,” California Fairs Director of Racing (CARF), Larry Swartzlander said recently. “The quality of racing has improved, along with bottom level purses being raised from $4800 to $6300.
July 6 Alameda Country Fair to have Arabian Festival Races totaling $55,000
Jeanne Wasserman, Alameda County Fair Director of Operations and Manager of the Off-Track Betting Facility, thinks the large Arabian purses for the HH Sheikh Mansor Bin Zayed Global Flat Racing Festival will be at the top of purses offered for California fair races for Arabians and Thoroughbreds.
”With the CARF added minimum of $5,000 to the Wathba Cup races, this will make the purse $10,000. I say a minimum, because I know it will be at least that, and a chance for another $1,000, but won’t know for sure until the purse structure is settled for next year.”
A Huge Crowd Expected
“The Alameda race day scheduled for July 6 gives the Arabian horses, especially those in California, a chance to be in training a little longer and enables them to race the first week of our fair, giving them a prep race, and then run back on July 6th. There will be 10 races carded on that day with a Thoroughbred Stakes race of $50,000 as well. That date is the closing weekend of the Alameda County Fair and typically draws a large crowd,” concluded Wasserman.
In it’s third year supporting the races of the USA, the Arabian Flat Racing Festival has put weight behind races in Delaware, Texas and California with added prize money.
The HH 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 Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare 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 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.