Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ While visiting the racing stable in Abu Dhabi where trainer Philippe Barbe oversees his 2011 Kahayla entry, Seraphin Du Paon, I had the luck to meet up with Joan Wakefield of Tapeta footings, Kathleen Anderson, DVM, and Sally Gosswell, Manager of Maryland’s, Fairhill Training Center. A trip highlight, Kathleen had a desert ride on 2001 Kahalya Classic winner, Magic de Piboul, and we all enjoyed a tour of the farm, saw several just-foaled future race horses, examined the training track, the on-site veterinary clinic, and were let into the very private barn of the competing race horses.
The three visitors had been staying in Dubai where they were able to view some of the run up races to the Dubai World Cup and where Joan was able to check on the All Weather Tapeta footing at the new Meydan race track. This was Sally’s first trip to the UAE, and she was impressed.
“Meydan is a beautiful facility unlike anything I have ever seen; truly world class”, she said. “From the barns to the tracks it’s obvious that the horses well being is a top priority. Both the Tapeta and turf courses are meticulously maintained, quite a show case for the Super Thursday races we were fortunate to attend. The races were extraordinarily well organized and well presented from hot walkers in ties and collared shirts and grooms vying for the best turned out horse award in each race right on up to the kaleidoscope of evening wear for owners and trainers. There seemed to be a relaxed atmosphere everywhere we went both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi , the people were so very friendly and helpful and everything was immaculate; Meydan was no exception.”