Melbourne – Australia (25/Jan/2012): Arabian horse racing has established a long-term partnership with the Moonee Valley Racing Club which will host the first leg of the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and the second round of the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies IFHAR Cup on Friday.
“We are honoured to have been chosen to host the Australian leg of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival,” said Michael Browell, Chief Executive of the Moonee Valley Racing Club.
Speaking to newsmen on Wednesday morning, the top racing official pointed out that they feel privileged to be granted this opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event and work together with the Australian National Arabian Horseracing Association to promote Arabian racing in this part of the world.
“While Arabian racing is in its infacy here in Australia, the Moonee Valley Racing Club appreciates that we now play a part in helping to foster a growing interest in Arabian racing and look forward to working closely in the future,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the UAE ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Ali Nasser Al Nuaimi is of the opinion that history has been made by bringing Arabian races to Australia.
“It’s a great breakthrough. People do have passion for this kind of racing here and I’m delighted that UAE is becoming a main player in equine sport at the international level,” he said.
“It’s a historic day to see amateur lady riders gathering from around the world to take part in this world’s prestigious race under the umbrella of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.
“UAE’s relationship with Australia is old and strong, and these kinds of initiatives make it even stronger. Emirates Airline is the title sponsor of Melbourne Cup and the Darley and Shadwell Farms are doing magic in promoting horse breeding and racing here.
“This noble creature is part of our history and culture and by promoting it we are paying tribute to our past and future,” he said.
Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival said she’s confident and optimistic that their efforts will pay dividends and international Arabian races will flourish and progress beyond expectations.
“We are glad to be here in Australia which will play host to these two prestigious races right from this year. We will also bring two more races in the name of Al Wathba Stud Farm Cup to encourage small owners.
“We have come across a growing interest in Arabian horses in this region and our immediate reaction was to stage a Euro 25,000 race for the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and a Euro 20,000 HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup,” Sawaya said.
Virginia Dodson, director of the National Arabian Horseracing Association said they are honoured and delighted to be part of the Shaikh Mansour bin zayed Al nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.
“This gesture has spread to all corners of the world and now Australia is truly part of the IFAHR family,” she said.
Khalid Abdulla Al Hussain, director of sports affairs at the UAE General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare thanked HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, mother of the UAE for supporting women sports and boosting UAE lady riders at all levels.
The Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society 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.