February 10, 2014, Doha ~ Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, the official program for the HH The Emir 23rdInternational Equestrian Sword Festival was formally announced at a press conference staged in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani, Chairman of The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club in Doha today.
The occasion was used to launch a brand new identity for Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s flagship event. H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani said, “The new logo has been introduced to give the event its own identity and to help us promote recognition of the Festival in the region and on the wider stage.
“We are grateful to our sponsors for their continued support and I am confident that we have created a logo that will complement the many prestigious brands we are associated with.”
The eight-day event, which begins on Thursday, 20 February, culminates in the running of the HH The Emir Trophy and Sword Race Meeting one week later and will encompass the region’s most expansive celebration of the Arabian horse.
The Open Arena at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club will be the focus of attention during the first part of the festival when the 23rd Qatar International Arabian Horse Show and the 4th Qatar International Straight Egyptian Arabian Horse Show, three-day and two-day events respectively, will fill the first five days of the Festival.
The Al Shahania Stud, the highly successful training and breeding operation established more than 30 years ago by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani which stands the 2010 Kahayla Classic winner, Jaafer, will open its gates to visitors on Tuesday, 25 February.
Following the visit, the first of three days racing gets underway at 1.30 p.m. at Al Rayyan where the nine-race card features three valuable Cup events; the Qatar GCC Gulf Cup, the Al Rayyan Cup and the Qatar 2022 Invitation Cup, a Group 3 event for Thoroughbreds.
There will be an opportunity to meet leading trainers and jockeys at a breakfast event on Wednesday morning before the start of the nine-race card featuring the Group 1 Qatar International Trophy.
The highlight of the Festival, HH The Emir’s Trophies and Sword Race Meeting, gets underway at 1.30 p.m. on Thursday, 27 February and features races at the highest level for both Pure Bred Arabians and Thoroughbreds.
Members of two globally recognized bodies within the sport will be among approximately 400 international visitors to the Festival when The European Conference of Arab Horse Organizations and The International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities will both use the occasion to stage Annual General Meetings.
H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani Chairman of the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club said, “HH The Emir 23rd International Equestrian Festival is a fabulous showcase for equestrianism in the Gulf region.
“The Festival provides us with the opportunity to welcome people from all over the world who share our passion for equestrian sport and we look forward to forging new relationships and renewing many friendships at what promises to be our most exciting event to date.”
An opening ceremony heralding the start of the QIEF will be hosted by international racing personality, Derek Thompson, who will return to present all three days of racing to provide an informative insight and enhance the visitor experience for racegoers at Al Rayyan.
Sponsors play a major role in the HH The Emir 23rd International Equestrian Sword Festival and headline supporters include Total E&P Qatar, Longines, Al Emadi Enterprises, Qatari Diar Real Estate Company, Qatar Petroleum, Nasser Bin Khaled (NBK) and Al Kass.
Sami Al Boenain, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club General Manager said, “We are extremely grateful to all our supporters and especially our headline sponsors whose involvement helps us to maintain the prestige of this wonderful celebration of the horse.
“HH The Emir International Equestrian Sword Festival continues to grow in stature and in value and we are delighted to announce that for the first time this year prize money will reach a record level of QR25 million (Euros 5m).”