The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s calendar of events for the year 2016 was unveiled at a press conference held at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves in Abu Dhabi today, February 11, 2016.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said the Festival’s feature event will once again be the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Crown Jewel IPIC, a Group 1 race worth Euros 1.2 million and the richest ever for Purebred Arabians.
Aref Al Awani, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Hamad Ali Al Ahbabi, Supporting Business Department Manager, IPIC ; Esam Abdulla, Emirates Arabian Horse Society; Adnan Sultan, Director General of ADEC; Matar Al Yahbouni, ADSC; Khaled Hussain from the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare; Najla Nasser from National Feed and Flour Production Company; Nadeem Lahd, Emirates airline; Ahmed Al Marzouqi from Sports Court; Nabila Twal from Al Qudra Holding; Genny Hanes representing IFAHR; Sayed Alam from Al Masoud; Shamma Elketbi, General Women’s Union and Stefano Daneri representing the Italian Equestrian body also attended the press conference.
“The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Crown Jewel-IPIC race will be held on November 6, 2016 and all the Festival’s events are held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs,” she said.
“We have already started the international racing with races in Oman and Australia while last week’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Listed Cup to be run on the St Moritz ice track in Switzerland was put off due to weather and will be run on February 21,’ Ms Sawaya said.
“While the Festival’s flat-racing will visit new racing venues in Beirut, Lebanon and Rome, Italy, the Darley Awards Stakes at Santa Anita in the US with prize -money of US$100,000 will carry the name of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of General Women’s Union and Chairwoman of Motherhood, Childhood Supreme Council,” she said.
Ms Sawaya also stated that the festival will sponsor Arabian Horse Beauty Shows in the name of Sheikh Zayed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan exclusively in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Lebanon with the support of National Feed.
“We will be racing for the first time in Capannelle, Rome while Beirut in Lebanon will be one of the venues for the Sheikh Zayed series. The race-day in Duindigt will be in tribute to late W.J de Ruiter, the Arabian racing chief in The Netherands who has passed away recently.
“The Festival will also visit the Gold Coast for the first time, three races including the first listed Arabian race in Australia,” she said.
There will also be 61 Wathba Stud Farm Cup races and Michigan has entered this series a new venue while there will be a Euro 20,000 race for Wathba Stud Farm Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“We have reduced races in some countries and added new countries. We have added new prizes after separating the professionals from the amateurs in the HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies race series and there will be a prize for the apprentice ladies also.”
“All endurance races in Abu Dhabi will be sponsored by the festival. The endurance races in Italy will be announced in a couple of days while
The races in France and Portugal remain as they were.”
This year’s World Arabian Horse Racing Conference will be in Italy at the Royal Astoria from May 25 onwards.
Aref Al Awani, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council and all other officials and sponsors representatives thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima while Esam Abdulla of the Emirates Arabian Horse Society said there are 15,000 Purebred Arabian horses registered in the UAE and all this is due to the support of HH Sheikh Mansoor and the Festival.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as Associate Partner, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with and sponsored by Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland , Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Viola Communications, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.