Heritage Arabian Racing embraced
19 June 2017, UAE ~ The Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) is growing at a good pace and now has 19 country members with the latest countries being accepted from Spain, Italy, Romania & Uruguay.
One of HARC’s main aims is to protect pure bloodlines and the Spanish blood is no exception.
Spain: Barbara de Mieulle from the Spanish Jockey Club is one of our most recent supporters. She relates: “Spain is one of the most important countries for Arabian Horses in Europe with the most important traditions and today there are champions in many disciplines such as Showing, Endurance and even Eventing. The Purebred Arabian horse forms part of the heritage and culture of the Spanish horse and that is why the Arabian horse is still very popular in Spain.”
De Mieulle goes on to explain: “The unique sport with Arabian horses that Spain has not already developed is Arabian horse racing, so from 2016 we started organizing international Arabian races to show to Spanish owners and breeders that Arabian Horse racing is fun and growing in Europe. Spain’s racing industry also needs more horses in order to organize more races; this is why Arabian racing it is a good option for the future.
“The Spanish stud book, Association Espanola De Criadores De Caballos Arabe (AECCA), is very competitive and has a large legacy from many generations. Spain has huge potential and many owners will enjoy the possibility to be part of the exciting world of racing. Spanish owners are very proud of their Spanish Arabian Horse’s lineage and HARC provides a chance to be part of this new project and gives owners the opportunity to create the first pure Arabian horse race for national horses.”
Origins of Arabian Horse Racing in Spain:
Sevilla, the capital city of Andalusia, had an essential role in the Al-Andalusia Arabic History (711 to 1492). The governor of the city-state of Sevilla and the Emir of Cordoba fought for supremacy during the Al-Andalus reign. (Arabic name for today´s Andalusia).
The Arabic horse, most often referred to as ‘the most beautiful horse in the world,’ is the ancestor of the majority of today´s horse breeds, including the Thoroughbred and the Hispano-Arabic. In 780, there were so many horses in Andalusia that Abd al-Rhamán I signed a peace treaty with Granada´s Arabic rulers, which comprised an annual payment of 10.000 ounces of gold, 10.000 tenner of silver and 10.000 good horses. During Cordoba´s Caliphate, the Omeyas´ herds and the Almanzor herds became very famous, and later Cordoba´s reign became particularly renowned for its horses.
Horse racing was imported from the Maghreb, and soon became one of the favorite occupations of the Nazarie dynasty and Mohammed V of Cordoue. Al-Andalus was an Arabic domain that included Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. They all celebrated their own festivities, Muslim as well as Christian, like Granada´s Mozarabes celebrating Christmas and New Year. Amongst their favorite celebrations were jousting, dueling, and horse riding competitions. Equestrian art and horse races appeared after the 10th century, at the end of the Omeyas reign.
Italy: Another European country proud to have recently joined HARC is Italy. Annalisa Landucci, the Italian HARC representative explains: “We would like to use our sponsorship during the Italian Show Championships being held in September in Rome at the Capannelle Racecourse. This will be a global event with racing, shows in hand and endurance races. It also offers a good opportunity to present HARC to our members, especially the breeders of show and endurance Arabians.”
As there are not many pure Arabians currently racing in Italy, there will be bonus races offering prize money for the best Heritage horse participating in each of the two Capannelle races; one for 3 years olds and the other for 4 years and older. They are also very excited to be sending their best horses to take part in HARC’s European Championship & Nations Cup in Belgium in October.
Romania: The Romanian Arab Horse Racing Association (A.R.A.C.) will send three of its best horses to Belgium to represent Heritage purebred Arabian horses at the European HARC race in October. A first official race is being prepared in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ploiesti Hippodrome which will take place at the end of 2017 after the race in Belgium. For 2018, plans are already being discussed to hold a National HARC championship and a further 8 to 10 races – all very exciting.
From the Romanian National Stud: Mr. Guillaume Fillet of the National Stud reports: “Due to the fact that all purebred Arabian horses from the Romanian National Stud are Heritage, there is very important Heritage Racing potential. Purebred Arabian horses are one of the most important breeds and the most numerous in Romania. The Romanian National Stud of Mangalia (Constanta County) is one of the largest in the country and continues to give birth to tens of foals every year.”
Uruguay: The fourth newcomer to HARC is Uruguay. This South American country is lucky to have a healthy stock of pure Arabian horses, however they are still making plans for the coming season.
There is healthy competition developing in Heritage Arabian racing across Europe thanks to new and old members, HARC’s scheduled races, and championships in the UK, Belgium, Italy, Sweden & Russia.
~ end HARC report