Stage set for the HH Sheikha Fatima Endurance Cup for Ladies

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Over 100 riders from the UAE, Gulf, Arab and the rest of the world are likely to start in the 4th edition of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup which will be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The CEN-90km event will be contested over four stages and carries a total purse of Dh. 300,000 prize-money to be distributed proportionately among all the riders who complete the race besides five 4WD vehicles to be claimed by the top five finishers.

The UAE’s Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi had won the third edition of this race last year with the UAE ladies making a clean sweep of the top ten positions.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Adnan Sultan, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club said the race is being held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

“I would like to thank our partners Abu Dhabi Sports Council, HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Emirates International Endurance Village, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Invest AD, TDIC. National Archives and Emirates for their generous sponsorship of the event,” he said.

The press conference was also addressed by Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR and Ahmed Al Fahim from TDIC, Nadem Lahad from Emirates, Mubarak Al Nuaimi from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Sheikh Hamdan Al Sharqi from Invest AD and Salah Al Marzouki from Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The sponsors’ representatives reiterated their commitment to support the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival as part of their national duty to promote the UAE culture, history and heritage.

“When we promote Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, we are also targeting the foreign markets in process,” said the TDIC representative Ahmed Al Fahim.

Sheikh Hamdan Al Sharqi, speaking on behalf of Invest AD, said the display of the company’s name at the race venues within the UAE and around the world will introduce our brand name to the international investors who will try to come closer to know about our business,” he said.

The same opinion was echoed by Nadem Lahad who summed it up by stating that Emirates Airline has a responsibility as a national carrier to be thereabouts when Abu Dhabi organises or hosts an event of such magnitude. It’s the capital of the nation and all the other national carriers share with them the same perception.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR welcomed the breeder of the European Triple Crown champion Ameretto, who will be rewarded with Euro 50,000 courtesy of the Festival as mark of appreciation for being the first Purebred Arabian horse to win the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Triple Crown for three years in a row.

“Under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ameretto will be honoured during the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup for the great achievement as the most consistent and top performing Arabian horse,” Ms Sawaya confirmed.

“It has also been decided to open the race for all lady riders and not to be restricted to Arab ladies alone, provided that each stable should enter an Arab lady/girl rider.

“Mother of the UAE and the World, 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 would like to open the door for all talented riders from around the world to take part and contest at a global level,” she said.

“Top international lady riders who were associated with the festival will join their Arab colleagues to make the line-up for the race. Top riders from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE will also be in the fray,” she said.

“We are also delighted to welcome National Archives as our new sponsors for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival,” Ms Sawaya said.

“On January 3, 2015, an international Press Conference will be staged to announce the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s calendar of events for 2015, including the endurance races. The world is looking towards Abu Dhabi to find out what the festival is preparing for the global racing community in the new season,” she noted.

“The first general meeting of the International Federation of Training Schools for Purebred Arabians will be held in Abu Dhabi on January 2, and it is expected to receive wide media coverage,” she added.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), National Archives, Al Rashid Investment, 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 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.