Khaleej Times: Fatma and Shattra for lady jockeys race

The Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival took another giant step forward and this time it is to stage a race for lady jockeys in the name of Shaikha Fatma bint Mubarak Fegentri Cup to be held in Duindigt, the Netherlands on June 19.
Lara Sawaya, Director of the Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival said the races for lady jockeys in which two UAE jockeys will also take part will be a first for the UAE in the flat-racing history.

“The Shaikha Fatma bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup race reflects the success achieved by the UAE General Women’s Union under the wise and able leadership of the Union’s Chairperson Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak,” she said.

“We have increased the prizemoney from €15,000 to €20,000 and this race will be a huge boost to women jockeys and give them a chance to progress in this exciting field. The Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival has always been eager to include innovative additions and this is one such initiative under the directives of Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs,” Sawaya said.

Fatma Al Marri and Shattra Al Hajjaj are the two UAE jockeys who will take part in the race.

Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Director of Communications Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage said, “The inclusion of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup race as part of the Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is bound to inject the much-needed support to lady jockeys in flat racing.”

Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director of the Emirates General Women Association and chairperson of the UAE Women Sport, said: “It is a great honour to have a race in the name of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak (Mother of the Nation), Chairperson of the General Women’s Union who is an inspiration with her wise leadership of the UAE women’s movement.”

Stephen Bowey of Invest AD and Ali Al Mulla of Areej Al Ameerat expressed their support to the new race.

“It is indeed a ground-breaking event and we are proud to be associated with the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival since the start,” Bowey said.

Ali Al Mulla said, “We thank Shaikh Mansoor for giving us this opportunity to be part of promoting UAE heritage and culture.” Mirna Youness of La Sirene said she was delighted to support the event. “I thank Shaikh Mansoor for giving us this chance and it is great what the Emirates Women’s Union is doing for the progress of women in the UAE,” Mirna Youness said.

The Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival races are staged with support from Invest AD, Areej Al Ameerat, La Sirene, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2011,Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.