H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan 10th Equestrian Festival
19 February 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ A press conference on 16 February at the Fairmont Hotel, Abu Dhabi, hosted by the UAE Emirates Heritage Club (EHC) announced an exciting venue of equestrian events sponsored by the EHC from 21 February until 17 March.
Performance classes during the three weeks will include Halter (Beauty) Classes, Jumping, Dressage, Endurance, and Equestrian Games such as tent pegging. All events will be held at the Boudhieb International Equestrian Village under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This is the 10th year of the Festival which has grown exponentially over the years.
Welcoming speakers at the Press Conference were: Activities CEO, HE Ali Abdullah Al Rumaithi, Dr. Mohamed Machmoum, Veterinarian; HE Ahmed Abdul Razak, Advisor Arabian Horse Breeders Association; HE Essam Abdulla, Director EAHO; and Mrs. Deirdre Hyde, Stud Manager, W’rsan Stables (Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan).
Opening the week on Sunday 21 February will be the first Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) International Conference at the Fairmont. Speakers from Egypt, Belgium, Australia, Brazil, and the UAE will detail the advances during the first year of the HARC program to the Conference attendees. Deirdre Hyde outlined Heritage Arabian Club goals: “HARC has been formed to support the original bloodlines of the Arabian horse which are in danger of getting lost. We hope this organization will bring them back into the limelight,” she said.
The Arabian Horse Organization (AHO) Breeders Conference will be held at Shangri La Hotel on 23 February, and has lined up a stellar list of guest speakers on the origins and opportunities with Arabian horse breeding. Dr. Machmoum said that “Helping breeders to gain knowledge is part of the Conference design. Arabian horses are our identity.”
From 24-26 February there will be Breeder’s Championship Horse Show followed by 2 days of International Dressage.
Mr A Ahmed Razak said, “This year the Breeders’ Championship is limited to UAE owner/bred horses and is the sixth year for this Championship. We know that the expanded Festival and show will attract more young and junior riders which will increase the interest in the Arabian Horse Organization,” he said.
The week of 29 February – 3 March will have Equestrian Games including Tent Pegging, which goes on to International Show Jumping from 3-5 March.
Endurance takes precedence from 8 – 12 February, with 1, 2, and 3 * races on the grounds of Boudhieb Endurance Village. The organizers are following the endurance rules introduced by H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan that are looking to bring endurance back to a sport which cherishes the health and welfare of the horse in the UAE. Rules for the endurance rides will include a limit of cars on course, water available only at water stations (every 1 km), limitations on speed, and the prize for Best Condition. “We hope to have not only a change in rules but a change in perspective for endurance to preserve and protect the horses,” said Dr. Essam Abdullah.