Spectacular show brings curtain down on three-day awards event
5 April 2016, Hollywood, California, USA ~ The weekend 1-3 April, began with the red-carpet HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Arabian Awards and US Darley Awards ceremony on Friday, stopped over on Saturday at the Santa Anita Race Park for the first-ever Arabian Stakes race, then ended on Sunday evening with an equally spectacular show and Gala dinner with the popular Arabian Racing Cup Stallion Auction as a grand finale.
Amidst all the action, some of the loudest cheers of the night went to some talented jockeys – Racing Hall of Fame’s Mike Smith, and Victor Espinoza – the California-based jockey who last week won the Dubai World Cup on California Chrome! The two had in 2014 won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and last year Espinoza rode American Pharoah to win the 2015 Kentucky Derby, the 2015 Preakness Stakes, and the 2015 Belmont Stakes for the first Triple Crown victory since Affirmed and Steve Cauthen did it back in 1978.
HE Abdulla Al Subose, UAE Consul General in Los Angeles, Aref Alawani – Secretary-General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Sami Al Boenian- IFAHR President, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi -Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Director General, Dr. Salah Al-Junaidi representative of the Judicial Department, Khalid Al Hussein Al Hammadi – GAYSC representative, HE Lulwa Awadhi and Dr. Wadoda Badran, 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) and Arabian Racing Cup stewards led by Denise Gault were among the many VIP guests who attended the function.
Ms Noura Al Suwaidi, not present, was honored as the representative of the UAE’s General Women’s Union while Espinoza along with Keith Brackpool, Chairman, Santa Anita Park, Aref Alawani, Dr Nader Saab, Fadia Karam, Derek Thompson, UAE Endurance riders Shathra Al Hajaj and Nouf, the Italian ladies endurance team and many others were honored at the gala dinner with some impressive and spell-bound performances from professional artistes.
Denise Gault, Chief Steward of the Arabian Racing Cup, The Cup, organizers of the Darley Awards, felicitated her fellow stewards and surprised many by announcing her retirement as she introduced Michelle Morgan from Mandolynn Hill Farms as the new Chief Steward.
The piece de resistance was the 2016 Cup Stallion Auction offering breedings to some the best of Purebred Arabian Stallions in the world. Lively bidding from those present as well as telephone bids sold bookings for international stallions Munjiz, Mahabb, Rabah De Carrere, Grilla, Madj Al Arab, Madjani, TC Richie and the 2016 Darley Horse of the Year, So Big Is Better. The auction is a fundraising program that supports the Arabian Racing Cup’s Breeders’ Incentive Fund.
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, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with and sponsored by Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.