After the resounding success of the Purebred Arabian horse flat-racing series held in Europe earlier this year when Zayed the First’s centenary year (1909-2009) was celebrated, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage announced the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Racing Festival for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, December 22, 2009.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of Communications Department at ADACH said, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Racing Festival of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup will kick-off in May, 2010 and will be held in seven racing centres.
“The launch of the Festival is in appreciation of the great efforts exerted by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE. The festival will especially celebrate his internationally recognized achievements, may God bless his soul, in the maintenance of heritage and tradition, and the attention he paid to heritage sports, particularly in the equestrian field,” Al Qubaisi said.
“The new season begins in May 2010 with races in the UAE, France, Netherlands, Germany, and a number of states to be announced later,” he added.
“The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Racing Festival of Sheikh Zayed I Cup, which was first held in Europe in 2009 and concluded in November, 2009 at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, delivered its message faithfully by introducing the European peoples to the high regard in which Arabian horses are held in the deep-rooted UAE and Arab heritage,” Al Qubaisi said.
“This Festival carries the aspirations of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, notably strengthening feelings of pride and honour in the people of the UAE through the support and development of heritage, and by safeguarding this intangible heritage in the region,” the ADACH official said.
------ Bin Brook, President of Bonyan International Investment Group, who are supporting the Festival said, “Bonyan International Investment Group has already supported the National Day flat-racing and the National Day endurance rides in Abu Dhabi
and feel privileged to once again be part of a bigger flat-race series.”
The Festival’s Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup races is to mark the great accomplishments of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and this makes it a very proud moment for us,” he added.
“The Bonyan International Investment Group is always ready to be part of any move to help preserve the country’s culture and heritage and Purebred Arabian horse racing is an important element that needs to be promoted around the globe,” said Abdullah Atatreh, Bonyan Group Chairman.
Fahad Al Ketbi of Sorouh Real Estate, said, “Through sponsoring various equestrian activities, Sorouh supports and promotes Arabic traditions and customs especially those related to Arabian horses like courage, loyalty, strength, and honesty. It is a great pleasure to be part of this unique event today. Through such sponsorships of purebred Arabian Horse races Sorouh can affirm its continuous support of equestrian sports.”
“The festival’s uniqueness is reflected truly by its ability to attract high attendance numbers. Moreover, the festival has successfully presented the UAE and raised its profile in the international arena,” he added.
Mohammad Ibrahim Al Mahmood, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), who also addressed the media said, “The strategy of ADSC is to support all kinds of sports activities that will help preserve and consolidate our heritage and culture. ADSC’s support to this Festival stems from the important role this Festival will play to reflect our heritage, culture, and the care provided to by the UAE to Purebred Arabian horses.”
Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of the Festival said the second edition of the His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Global Arabian horse flat-racing is expected to create a bigger impact and help more owners and trainers along with the fans to get acquainted with Purebred Arabian horses.
“Under the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the breeding stables of Sheikh Mansoor in Normandy, France will henceforth be called as the Al Wathba Stud Farm.
The Al Wathba Stud Farm will once again be associated in promoting endurance rides in the UAE and Purebred Arabian horse races both here in the UAE and at a global level as per the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor,” she said.
“Apart from the races in Europe we will also be staging a race in the US while an accomplished painter will capture the races on the canvas which will be displayed at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky,” Ms Sawaya said.