3 January 2014, Abu Dhabi ~ The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival unveiled its 2015 calendar of events which includes 102 flat races and nine endurance championships across five continents.
A press conference at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi showed off the impressive agenda for the Festival. Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), and Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee (IFAHR) gave the details: “Under the directives of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and HH Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak, the 2015 calendar will include 14 races in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, 14 races in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship, nine races in the HH Sheikha Fatima bit Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) and 65 races in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup.”
The Festival has gained ground and speed every year since its inception in 2009 and has increased the number of races, the participating countries, and the prize money each year. The Festival is now offering a breeder’s incentive of €4,000 bonus for breeders of winning race horses in each of the 102 races of the Festival.
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship
“It’s going to be a promising year for breeders, trainers, jockeys and all connections. Starting from Al Flaij racecourse in Muscat, Oman, the venue for the first round of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship on 16 January, the lady jockeys then travel to Australia to race at Sportingbet Park ten days later,” continued Sawaya.
In February, Manama, Bahrain, will host the third leg of the competition, followed by St. Moritz in Switzerland on 22 February, where only professional lady riders face the starter on the ice. On 8 March the fifth leg of the Championship will be held at Sam Houston Park in Houston, Texas. Casa Anfa in Morocco hosts the sixth leg on 11 April, followed on 17 April by the seventh round at the Hippodrome Racecourse in Toulouse, France.
The ladies will race for the first time on the AW track at Lingfield, UK, on 9 May before they head to Warsaw to race on 31 May, wrapping the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference held there from 27-30 May. Stockholm will host the tenth round on 6 June and Dundight in Netherlands welcomes the ladies on 28 June. On 6 July the competition returns to the USA at Pleasanton, California, and the penultimate race will be on the Ostend racecourse in Belgium on 17 August. The final race will be held at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on 8 November.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup
Meanwhile, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series will coincide with the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship except for the opening race in Oman, while the penultimate race of the series will be staged in Toulouse, France, on 28 October.
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR)
*Lexington, Kentucky, USA – 17 May
Warsaw, Poland – 31 May
Sacramento, California, USA – 18 July
Sandown Park Race Course, UK – 21 August
Tarbes, France – 11 October
Dundight, Netherlands (TBC).
*Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia – 30 August
Abu Dhabi, UAE Championship at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club – 8 November
The endurance Festivals of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Endurance Cup and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup will be held at nine venues in nine countries.
Fontainebleau, France – 27-28 March; 16-17 October
Fonterra, Portugal – 1-3 May
Sardinia, Italy – 26-27 June
Verona, Italy – 24-26 July
Compiegne, France – 22-24 August
Italy – 25 September
Pinamar, Argentina – 15-17 October
Red Range, Australia – 24-25 October
* HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup for Arab Countries to be held in Bahrain
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Awards
The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will be the home of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Awards for the second straight year on 3 April 2015.
The World Arabian Horse Racing Conference
The 2015 World Arabian Horse Racing Conference will be staged in Warsaw, Poland, from 27-31 May.
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Training Schools (IFHRA) Conference
Finally, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Training Schools (IFHRA) Conference will be held in Abu Dhabi from 7-9 2015.
Wathba Stud Farm Cup
The Wathba Stud Farm Cup will be staged in Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, UK and USA.
“We are also directed by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan to increase the prize-money for the finals of the three championships besides a special bonus to be provided by the festival for all participants and breeders of the winning horses,” she confirmed.
US Triple Jewel
The US Triple Jewel, the three legs of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup to be held in the USA will begin with the Amethyst first leg at Sam Huston Race Park in Houston, Texas, then advance to the Emerald round on 6 July at Pleasanton, California, before the Diamond final leg at Los Alamitos, California, on 19 September. All of the trophy Cups will have the real appropriate real jewel in the Cup.
The European Triple Crown kicks off in Toulouse through Warsaw to land the final in Abu Dhabi in November.
“There will be two Group-1 races in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series at Lingfield, UK, (9 May) and Ostend in Belgium (17 August), besides an international race in Warsaw (31 May),” Sawaya added.
Racing Post Online
“The festival races will go live online in the Racing Post where the lovers of the races will have direct access to the results and race cards on line. The festival has become now a major sponsor of the newspaper,” according to Sawaya.
* Denotes New Races
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), National Archives, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.