World Arabian Racing Conference 2012 wrap-up

     June 14, 2012, Berlin ~ The H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan World Arabian Horse Racing Conference Germany 2012 finished on the third day as panelists discussed the importance of promotion and marketing for the future of Arabian racing.

It was agreed by all present that the support of Sheikh Mansoor with world wide race sponsorship and the Global Arabian Conference to gather new ideas and nurture growth was an extremely important and much appreciated boost to Arabian racing.

Richard Lancaster of Shadwell Stud put forward his thoughts on encouraging more participation in breeding to keep the bloodlines strong and ensure enough horses to run in the sport. “To do this, we must maintain a certain level of prize money,” he said.

Essam Abdulla of the UAE stated that there are enough horses in that country, but not enough races to get them all qualified.

Faisal Al Rahmani, a bloodstock agent in the UAE,  felt that the Gulf region has made good progress with breeding and selling of Arabians and is one of the top countries for buying, selling and exporting of horses. He sees a good chance to further this trend.

Gerard Schoningh, owner of the Berlin-Hoppegarten race course, feels that his role of getting people to the race track is where the enthusiasm for racing starts. He also felt that getting good racing data and forms for betting will help people grow to understand Arabian racing as well. “In our Arabian races, the betting turn-over is only 10% lower than for the Thoroughbred races,” he said. “The more information, the better.”

Susan Willis, Chairman of the Arabian Racing Association of California (ARAC) posed a question from the audience on some special needs for the Golden State to encourage Arabian racing.

“As Chairman of  the Arabian Racing Association of California, I want to tell you our problem,” she said. “Our state is called the Golden State in the USA with just cause. It has the largest population of any state, one of the largest economy’s in the world, beautiful year round weather, and some of the finest racetracks in America. The potential is tremendous for racing, but unfortunately, it is also the only State in the USA that does not help with the financing of insurance for the riders and grooms who are a critical part of our industry. That burden lies sorely on the shoulders of our Arabian owners. It has become a deterrent to our success.” Asking for thoughts on how this might be rectified, Lara Sawaya offered that the Sh Mansoor Festival would pay the insurance for the races they support in California. This is welcome news, but does not solve the longterm problem of how to help the Sunshine State continue to shine in Arabian horse racing.

Denise Gault, Richard Lancaster, Gillian Duffield and Walter de Ruiter

Denise Gault of Racestreet Management commented: “As both a participant in the Berlin conference as well as a California racehorse owner, I was not only surprised but very pleased that this important issue was addressed by Susan and Lara on the international forum. Those of us in the US are aware of the dire insurance problem for California owners and realize that if it is not solved very soon, Arabian racing in California is on the verge of collapse. My husband, Randy, a financial and insurance professional, has taken up the effort to solve this crisis, and since returning from Berlin has contacted colleagues in his field to work toward finding solution to this problem.”     



The Gala dinner, always a spectacular finale to the Convention,was held at the German Historical Museum in Berlin in the outside courtyard. Delegates and invitees were honored at the event.

The baton was passed and the location of  the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed al Nahyan World Arabian Horse Racing Conference 2013 was revealed to be Toulouse, France. The conference is scheduled for June.

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The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Emirates Racing Association (ERA) and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.




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