Dubai- Big N Rich, landed the ninth edition of The Wathba Stud Farm Cup at the Ghlin Racecourse in Belgium on Sunday. The top performer made virtually all to sprint home unchallenged in what could be described as a one horse race.
The race was held as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival in collaboratio n with the Arabian Horse Racing Club of Belgium and contested over a mile.
The event which was open for three-year-olds and above, has attracted a strong field of 13 runners going to post, with horses coming from different countries around Europe and the Middle East to battle it to the wire in the Euro 6000 prize-money.
According to the organisers, the event hit the highest level of success which has even exceeded their expectations. Over ten thousand enthusiastic fa ns attended the race from inside the venue which underlines the passions of the Belgium people for horse races in general and Arabian horses in particular.
And above all, the local media in Belgium supported the initiative of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan to promote the Arabian horse and encourage the small breeders and owners in the country.
In the meantime, the tenth round of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series will be held in Germany on August 15.
According to the UAE diplomat Mohammed Al Abdouli, the support and backing of His Highness the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highnes Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and their brothers the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, to the UAE sports in general and equestrian in particular played the major role in the progress and development which have been achieved.
“Suc h an event has its positive impact on the UAE ties with Belgium which extends beyond the political, economical and commercial relationships to include the sports and communal links,” the UAE second secretary at the UAE Embassy in Belgium said.
Ms Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and head of IFAHR ladies racing said: “Under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs to hold the ninth round of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup in Belgium, we have witnessed all this success. We have seen top 12 Arabian horses vying for honours in this special event which aimed at supporting the small breeders and owners in Belgium. Horses from UK, Belgium, Holland, KSA and elsewhere have been declared for the race out of the 22 entries which were made in the first stage.”
“Based on this great success, it has been decided to continue the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race in 2013. This is in addition to holding the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup at the Hippodrome Wellington in Ostend and thereby increasing the numbers of the rounds in Europe.
“On August 30, th e announcement of holding the next round of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Championship IFAHR at the Croan Racecourse in France will be made to mark a historic move of its nature,” she added.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General
Au thority 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 Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian
Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.