: Book on Shaikh Mansour racing festival launched

Abu Dhabi: The Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival launched a book recording its activities and achievements from 2009 to 2011at an impressive function at the Emirates Palace hotel on Monday night.

Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director of the Emirates General Women’s Association and chairperson of the UAE Women Sport received the first copy of the book from Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Chief of Communication at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of Festival, according to a press release.

In the foreword to the book, Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs quoted two lines from a poem to highlight the role of Arabian horses.

“The horse to men represents dignity and honor, “An honor so precious with treasures we acquire

Is a well known poetry that we memorize from father to son, because it captures the importance of horses in our history,” Shaikh Mansour said.

“The horse represents chivalry, bravery, protection, strength, prestige and victory and that’s the reason why so much of our poetry is written in its honor.”

“That’s also why horses deserve that we persist on heightening the grand role it played in our ancestor’s lives, and the support it gave them throughout the ages,” he said.

“This book is dedicated to the role horses played in our history, and to highlight the accomplishments we were able to do with the essential presence of horses in our lives,” Shaikh Mansour said.

Noura Al Suwaidi, who also honoured the lady jockeys from around the world who had taken part in the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup.

Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of ADACH said in his message in the book, “Today, with the publishing of this book, one of its kinds, we take a necessary step towards preserving this unique part of our history and to ensure that people worldwide will give it the well-deserved interest.”

“This is the first such book to document a race series, both among thoroughbred and Purebred Arabian racing in the world and is a huge step forward in promoting Purebred Arabian racing,” said Lara Sawaya.

The highlight of the function was an innovative fashion show directed by Rafia Helal bin Drai, which saw the models donning her exclusively-designed Mauzan abaya brand and walk the ramp displaying the book.

The Emirati designer and her models received a huge round of applause from the packed hall at the gala dinner at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

The book-launch was attended by a large number of officials and members of the racing fraternity.