The stars of the Grand Finale of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival took part in a curtain call at the capital city of Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.
The riders participating in the Grand Finale of the Purebred Arabian Horse racing festival on November 9, 2018, included the winning jockeys from various countries and were welcomed to a huge applause at the Anantara Hotel during a press briefing. These jockeys, having won races in their respective countries, had competed in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice Jockey Championship and Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony races.
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) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), while introducing the youngsters, welcomed the gathering to the capital city of Abu Dhabi which will feature the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians with a whopping Dh 5 million prize money. The richest race will be held on Friday, November 9.
Ms Sawaya thanked all the jockeys, owners and trainers who had assembled in Abu Dhabi to witness the Grand Finale. She thanked His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for their support and vision. While reiterating their support to the Purebred Arabian horse racing, Ms Sawaya stated that because of their foresight and unconditional support, the Festival has completed 10 years in 2018 and has moved to around 90 countries. “Thanks to their support, this humble, noble and smart creatures got their due in the world of racing,” she added.
Ms Sawaya took this opportunity to mention that His Highness Sheikh Mansoor decided to launch Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony races in the year 2017 to encourage youngsters to value and understand the importance of racing at an early age.
The year 2018 not only saw the completion of 10 years by the festival but coincided with the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE and a passionate promoter of Arabian horses.
Ms Sawaya said that all eyes were on Friday’s Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Group 1). “The last decade has been very successful and many new things were learnt and the following year will see more fruitful action,” she added.
Also addressing the press conference were Faysal Al Rahmani, Chairman of IFHAR, Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotions and Overseas Offices, Department of Tourism and Culture, Dr Salah Al Junaibi, Executive Director, Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department, Ali Al Mualla, Chairman of MR Group, Mohammed Abdullah representing Al Massood Automobiles, Nouf Ali from Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Kuloodan Nuaimi from National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Nadim Lahad from Emirates airlines, Patrick Buckley from Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Dr Stefano Daheri from Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Ms Amrita Shagla, co-founder of SET and Xavier Ziani and Richard Muller, popular UAE jockeys and Festival ambassadors.
All the speakers were unanimous in their support to the festival and praised HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima for their dedication to the Arabian racing.
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, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carrier, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFHRA, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abu Dhabi Youth Council, General Authority for Sports and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Nissan Middleast Al Massood Automobiles, Nirvana Travels and Tourism LLC, Equicare Veterinary Services, Alawal Stud, Cavalos Equine Care & Supplies, SET Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Al Awani General Enterprises, Omeir Travels, Kabale, YAS Channel, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohammed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, 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 2018, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Anantara Hotel.