Top jockeys in fray for Sheikha Fatima Ladies World Championship

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Twelve lady jockeys including UAE’s Shathra Al Hajjaj will fight it out in the final race of the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) to be held at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Nov. 11.

The series is part of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.

Details of the race were disclosed at a press conference held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Saturday by Lara Sawaya, director of the Festival and Head of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR) ladies racing.

The press briefing was attended by Sami Jassim Al Boenain, chairman of IFAHR, Nadim Lahad, manager, Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Al Ain), Aisha Al Marzuki of General Authority for Youth and Sports and Stephen Bowey, Executive Director (Corporate Development) Invest AD, Omani jockey Fatima Al Manji and Norwegian jockey Veronika Aske. “It’s a world championship which brings together amateur lady riders from around the globe to compete in a series of ten rounds which culminates with the final leg in Abu Dhabi, where two ladies will drive home two brand new Mercedes Benz cars, in addition to Dhs130,000 in prize-money which would be claimed by the winning lady jockey,” said Sawaya.

UAE lead the championship table with 51 points, followed by UK and Germany with 50 points each. They are being followed by Oman (48), France (47), US (37), Sweden (36), Ireland ((36), Norway (31), Switzerland (28), Netherlands (24) Spain (17), Italy (15), Turkey (15), Austria (11), Qatar (11), Poland (7), Australia (5).

Hajjaj and two professional jockeys American Joy Scott and Australian Michelle Payne have been chosen to join the other nine who emerged winners in the previous nine rounds of the competitions.

Sawaya also said the draw will be held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 8.

“Under the directives of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the total prize-money has been increased from Euro50,000 to Euro 62,000 and will be distributed among the winning clubs of the five top lady jockeys who have collected the highest numbers of points throughout the nine rounds.”