Festival returns to historic Hoppegarten in Berlin
27 July 2017, Berlin, Germany ~ Loid Bekaert, a 16-year-old Apprentice jockey from Belgium, stole the limelight when he scored an emphatic win in the 2200-metre race on Le Jason, a four-year-old trained by R. Zoetelief in Berlin on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 in the fourth round of the 2017 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival returned after four years to the historic Hoppegarten course.
Bekaert, who received his Apprentice license just over a month ago, grabbed the opportunity with both hands as Le Jason scored an easy win over Adash under Kersley Ramsamy of Mauritius while Bahrain’s Ali Sameer on Arash finished third. Bekaert and La Jason finished with a time of 2:44.93.
Seven apprentice riders from around the world took part in the 11-furlong race with a prize fund of €20,000. The young Belgian is the fourth jockey to qualify for the Apprentice World Champion ship final this year in this race series which is being held as part of the Festival under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
Sayed Abdel Rahman Al Shamsi, Chargé d’Affaires at the UAE Embassy in Berlin, Saed Al Shehhi, Head of the Political Department, Talab Al Habsi and Hassan Al Shehhi, Assistant Military Attaché, and the Chargé d’affaires respectively, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) attended the prize distribution and gave away the trophies.
Ms. Sawaya said, “We could not stage races here as there was a international problem in the racing body here but now since that is sorted out we are delighted to be here with our Festival’s races.”
“Today we saw the young Belgian winning from a strong field of experienced riders. He lived up to his reputation as a promising jockey which was the reason why he was in the starting line-up though he is just 16.”
Ms. Sawaya said that the next date for the Festival would be an Arabian Horse Beauty Show in Lebanon 29-30 July.