Wathba Cup Races Expanded to Al Ain, Equine Hospital planned for Western Quarter

PressConfB24O0125August 3 2015, Abu Dhabi ~ Many issues regarding UAE Purebred Arabian horse connections were addressed during the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s World Arabian Horse Racing Conference held in Warsaw in May. The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Friends Committee (representing Purebred Arabian Horse Breeders, Owners, Trainers and Jockeys) was formed on Saturday, 1 August 2015, to provide a platform to address these issues.

HE Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni, Board Member and Chairman of the Equestrian sport in the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and 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), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), addressed the members of the new body at the Anantara Hotel with Sheikh Hamed Bin Khadim Al Hamed also in attendance.

Wathba Stud Farm Cup Races to Run in Al Ain

The Festival has expanded the Wathba Stud Farm Cup races to the new Al Ain Racecourse in the Western Quarter from the upcoming racing season. These races will follow the same pattern of the equivalent races at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club with the same conditions, including the Breeder’s bonus. The Festival staged 15 Wathba Stud Farm Cup races in Abu Dhabi in the 2014-15 season.

UAE breeders, owners and trainers welcomed the move as a further boost Arabian racing in the UAE where there are more Arabians entered than can find races.

New Equine Hospital Planned

A top issue raised by the members during the meeting was the need for the establishment of an equine hospital in the Western Region. The Sharjah Equine Hospital is located 400km away. Al Yabhouni confirmed that all arrangements have been made to build a fully-equipped equine hospital courtesy of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

“All feasibility studies, plans and funds are in hand to start the construction work as soon as possible,” he confirmed.

Track Conditions at ADEC

Regarding track conditions at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse, Al Yabhouni related that he is in talks with Mr. Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the ADEC racecourse, to look at replacing the turf track. Many owners and trainers felt the prevailing track conditions caused more injuries to the horses.

Other proposals from breeders and owners from the Eastern Coast took centre stage in the discussions, and Al Yabhouni promised to refer the matter to the officials, particularly the lack of tracks, equine hospital and clubs.

Leading horse breeder and owner Khalid Al Naboodah urged the meeting to adopt his proposal of making amendments to the breeding calendar to start from October instead of March in the light of the hot weather conditions.

Al Nabooda said: “This could be implemented over three to four years because the hot and humid weather conditions from April onwards deprive breeders from taking advantage of the short winter period to bring up foals capable of competing against foreign-bred horses.

Finally, it has been agreed to activate the respective roles of the UAE Arabian Horse Society and the UAE Breeders Society in the light of the strong criticism that has been directed by the breeders and owners regarding the two bodies.

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 in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC),  Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, 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 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratoires Fadia Karam Cosmetics.

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