World Arabian Horse Racing Conference 2017 in Marrakesh, Morocco

Darley Awards in Hollywood on 31 March 2017

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7 October 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Marrakesh, Morocco, will play host to the eighth edition of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference, (WAHRC) from 1-7 May 2017, under the umbrella of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the 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), announced this at a press conference on Friday, 7 October 2016 on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), which is currently in progress at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Lara Sawaya

Lara Sawaya

World Arabian Horse Racing Conference

Ms. Sawaya stated during the press briefing that Morocco was the first African country to host a conference and in 2017 the Conference would be held in the first week in May. She added that the yearly conference would stay on five Continents, the sixth Continent, America (USA) would always host the yearly Darley Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Marrakesh is deeply embedded in history and culture and there could be no better place than this to host the Arabian horse racing conference,” Sawaya added.

Marrakesh racecourse will be inaugurated in May 2017, and will feature the Festival’s four premier races on 6 May,” Saway said. “We have the privilege of hosting the first race in the newly-constructed race course in Marrakesh, on which day there will be a huge attendance and entertainment in keeping with the tradition of Moroccan hospitality.”

Giving further details of the 2017 Conference, Ms. Sawaya said that a three-day workshop will be held from 3-5 May 2017, and it will be supported by the UAE embassy in Morocco and the Moroccan Royal Society of Horses (SOREC).

Arabian horse racing data base

The much-needed unified data base of statistics on Purebred Arabian racing, now called His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan DataBase for Purebred Arabian Horse Racing, will be unveiled at the Marrakesh conference in May, Ms. Sawaya said. It may be recalled that Ms. Sawaya had taken up the responsibility of the Data Base during last year’s WAHRC in Rome under the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival’s patronage following an overwhelming demand from the racing officials, owners, trainers, jockeys, media and sponsors of the Festival.

Ms. Sawaya warned that the Festival would consider pulling out its support to those countries not cooperating with providing quick and accurate information regarding their domestic racing calendar, data on horses, owners, trainers and jockeys as well as results. “This is the first step which will go a long way in the promotion of Purebred Arabian horse racing under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” she said.

Ms. Meryem Hirai, Charge de Communication, SOREC, thanked His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for choosing to have the race in the new Marrakesh race course. “We will provide all our support to the best of our abilities and make it a memorable day for the visitors. We are equally elated that Morocco is the first African country to host the conference and it’s a huge honour.

Dr. Abdulla Al Reyes, Director General of the National Archives and Festival sponsor, thanked his Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed for his vision in moving the conference to new territories. “The UAE-Morocco ties date back to the times of King Hasan V and ever since then, the ties are growing stronger by the day.” He also stated that the National Archives will be signing several new projects during the May conference.

The Darley Awards and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards will be presented at the Oscar Awards Theatre in Hollywood, Calfornia, on 31 March 2017, according to Ms. Sawaya. “The Festival’s race will be held on the Santa Anita Racecourse in California, on 1 April 2017. Support for disabled jockeys in the form of $100,000 will be donated to the disabled jockeys again this year.”

Also His Highness Sheikh Mansoor has instructed that an amount of $25,000 be dedicated to disabled jockeys in New Jersey as the Festival will hold the third leg of the Triple Jewel at a new venue at Monmouth Race Park in New Jersey in the coming season. There will also be a $10,000 contribution at that time for the welfare of retired race horses.

Addressing the press conference were Ms. Kathy Smoke, President of the US Arabian Jockey Club, and Ms. Michelle Morgan, Chief Steward of the Arabian Racing Cup. The two ladies hailed the support of the Festival for promoting Purebred Arabian horse racing in the US.

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.

~ end supplied report

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