Festival commended for promotion of Arabian racing, support to jockeys worldwide
4 April 2016, Hollywood, California ~ Sunday, 3 April was a red-letter day for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival. A day after the Festival penetrated the famous Santa Anita Park racecourse to stage the first-ever Grade I, $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes for Purebred Arabian horses, the organization headed by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, was commended by the California State Senate.
A framed certificate of a California State Senate’s commendation was presented amidst a thundering ovation by Keith Brackpool, Chairman, Santa Anita Park, to Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of 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) in the presence of HE Abdulla Al Subose, UAE Consul General in Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary Aref Alawani and other VIP guests at the Gala Dinner held on Sunday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The Resolution was passed on Saturday, 2 April by the Honorable Kevin de Leon, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate commending the efforts of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and the Santa Anita Park – which since 26 December 1934 had established itself as a premier venue for racing in California as well as in the USA – for their support to Arabian racing and jockeys worldwide. The race was held as part of the Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards and the US Darley Awards ceremony which was held on 1 April at the Dolby Studio.
The Senate Resolution said: ‘It is appropriate to draw the attention of the public to the special racing event’ – the Grade I, $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes for Arabian-bred horses which was held on Saturday, 2 April, and won by Thess Is Awesome.
‘The Santa Anita Park and the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival be commended for their promotion and long-term support of jockeys as world-class athletes and of the Arabian breed as a world-class equine athlete, and extended best wishes for their continued success.’
The California State Senate Resolution also highlighted the role of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival in promotion of Arabian racing and in dedicating its support to jockeys. The HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival had presented a cheque for $100,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) on Saturday in a Winner’s Circle ceremony prior to the $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Resolution said: ‘The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes race is part of the over 100 events in 81 countries hosted by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival to promote racing at the most prominent venues throughout the world.’
Referring to the Festival’s support to jockeys, the Resolution read: ‘In addition to the increasing awareness of the Arabian breed, the Festival is focused on celebrating jockeys as world-class athletes and will present a cheque to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).’
Earlier on Saturday, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens accepted the cheque with a number of Santa Anita jockeys looking on, from Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool on behalf of the PDJF. Founded in 2006, the PDJF currently provides financial assistance to 60 former jockeys who are permanently disabled as a result of on-track injuries. Since its founding, the PDJF has disbursed over $7 million to disabled riders.
“This is a huge development for us,” said Stevens. “Everybody knows how much risk we take every day and to get a $100,000 cheque is fantastic. We’re just so appreciative to Santa Anita and everyone involved with the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival for making this happen.”
“Santa Anita Park is delighted to partner with the Sheikh Mansoor Festival in making this donation to such a worthy cause,” said Keith Brackpool, Chairman, Santa Anita Park. “We’re hopeful this is the beginning of a relationship that will help to bring international focus to Santa Anita and to benefit the world-class athletes that make our sport unlike any other.”
Commenting on the recognition to the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival’s efforts, Ms Sawaya said: “This is a reflection of the huge success of the initiative by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and the strong support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Mother of the UAE.”
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 with and sponsored by 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.