The seventh year’s action in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival gets off to a roaring start with ten lady jockeys vying for honours in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Championship series race at Al Flaij Racecourse in Muscat to be run on Friday.
Friday’s is the first of the over 100 races that the Festival will be staging all over the globe as per directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Omani lady jockey Azhar Al Wardi will be looking to make the most of home conditions as she partners five-year-old Altyko Du Cayrou in the 1600-metre race. Al Wardi will be taking on an international pack of lady jockeys which includes Tracy O’Hare (Australia), Natalie Turner (U.S), Jane Foley (Ireland), Gabriella Vonczem (Hungary), Josefin Landgren (Sweden), Marie Artu (France), Jodie Hughes (U.K.), Carolin Stummer (Austria) and Silke Bruggemann (Germany).
With Euros 30,000 on offer as the prize fund, each of the ten jockeys will be looking to win and book a berth in the season-ending finale of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Championship, which has blossomed into a superb and popular series around the globe.
“It will be a great experience to compete in Oman and hopefully I will learn from competing against the best in the world on home soil,” the young Omani lady said.
“I am confident, but it will be a challenging race. There are many professional riders,” said Al Wardi, who has been a consistent participant in the race series.
“We are truly obliged to HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of General Women’s Union, Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council and Mother of the Nation, for giving us this opportunity to join hands with our brothers in Oman. This event brings together the whole world under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival,” said Noura Al Suwaidi, director of the UAE General Women’s Union.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said, “We are looking forward to another year of activities and the stage is set for a perfect start here in Muscat. We wish all the lady jockeys the very best of luck and hope they enjoy the experience.”
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 The National Archives 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), 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 2015, 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.