The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival makes its presence felt in the American west coast with two of its prestigious races to be run at the Fairplex Park in Pomona, Los Angeles on Thursday.
The Festival has boosted its presence in the US with the Fairplex Park staging the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Arabian Stakes and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race, details of which were unveiled at a press conference held at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles today.
HE Abdulla Ali Al Saboosi, Consul General at the newly-opened UAE Consulate General’s office in Los Angeles, said, “It is important to have such an event here in Los Angeles. This is an area which needs more attention and such events cement the already strong relations that the UAE enjoys with the US.”
Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) for Ladies Racing said, “These are the two biggest races here and this is just the start of a lot of action here. The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will be staging the Festival’s Darley Awards and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Awards here next year on April 4.”
“This will be a huge boost for Arabian racing and we are planning to host the awards, which is the ‘Oscars’ of Arabian racing, at the Kodak Studio premises while the next day over 200-plus guests will be hosted a grand dinner at Universal Studios,” she added.
“This is the third major stop for the Festival in the US after Houston in Texas and then Pleasanton in California and now here in Los Angeles. We are keen to see Arabian racing being integrated into one big fraternity and that has been the guiding principle of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in supporting these events,” Ms Sawaya said.
Sam Vasquez, Chairman of the Arabian Racing Association of California said, “These two races in Los Angeles are very important and they showcase the quality and traits of Purebred Arabian horses”.
Denise Gault, Chief Steward of the Arabian Racing Cup said, “It is the result of an amazing effort to hold these two stakes races at the Fairplex Park.”
Dr. Wadooda Badran, Advisor of the Arab Women Organisation and Lulwa Alawadhi, member of the Bahraini Consultative Council also hailed the initiatives of HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima in promoting Arabian horse racing and lady jockeys respectively.
Ben Trodd, General Manager of the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire confirmed that the very suite in which the press conference was being held was the one in which Richard Gere and Julia Roberts starred in Pretty Woman. “We are proud to host events of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and look forward to a strong association,” he said.
Meanwhile the two races have attracted strong fields and a strong contest is on the cards in the two Arabian Stakes’ races.
Qjuick Sand, By Golly Its Hot, Asuddengift MHF, TM Burning Bridges, So Big Is Better, Ordination, Burning Speed MKP, Cholly Roger SWA, Ayers and Sunddance Kidd are the top Arabian horses in the US which will be running in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Arabian Stakes.
This contest over a mile is open only to colts and geldings and with a prize fund of US$ 30,000 on offer, it is one of the major stakes race in the US.
So Big Is Better, who has come second and third in his two attempts in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup but won his start in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, will be looking to strike it rich in tomorrow’s race.
The HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race will be run over seven furlongs (1400 metres) with a total prize fund of $US 25,000.
The horses and lady jockeys in the line-up are Kentucky Bay (Alexandra Bihari); Indigena (Nicole Schlatter); Laurie Lu (No Boy); MS Dixie (Aine O’Connor); Lil Rich Girl (Marie Rollando); Mufv It On Over (Carol Bartley); One Hot Chick (Janine Beckmann); Lenas Hot Philly (Fatima Duygu); TM Maddamme (Zoe Valvo); Mahra T (Yasmine Nilsson) and Dimars Believe (Silja Storen).
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Invest AD, Arabtec Holding PJSC, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2013, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Hotel and SPA and Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah.