At a press conference held at the Eastern Mangroves Anantara Hotel in the UAE capital on Wednesday, November 8, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the Int’l 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 race in China will be one of the highlights of 2018.
“The calendar year of 2018 is significant as it marks the 10th year of the Festival and 100th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” she said.
Commenting on the Wathba Stallions race in China, Ms. Sawaya said, “The Purebred Arabian horses have already been acquired by the Chinese and are currently based in Poland. They will move to China for the first-ever Arabian horse race.
“This is a huge success for the Festival as we want to take Purebred Arabian racing to countries that do not have them,” she added.
The Festival also announced another new series in 2018 when Ms. Sawaya said 10 international pony races will be held around the world in the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony race series. “Ten races and the ten winners will come to Abu Dhabi for the final in November 2018,” Ms. Sawaya said.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council hailed the success of the Festival and said, “The Festival’s success is an inspiring story in sport not only in horse racing!”
Dr. Abdullah Al Raisi- Director General of the National Archives said that apart from 2018 being the 10th anniversary of the Festival and the 100th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan but also marked 50 years of the National Archives which is documenting every achievement of the country.
Faisal Al Rahmani, President of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFHAR) once again said the Festival had in the last ten years gained a lot of respect and progress for Purebred Arabian racing and added that he would lead IFAHR into a strong body and help boost Purebred Arabian racing.
Khalid Al Saffar, Head of Yas TV, Khalid Al Hussein- representative of the UAE Sports Authority, Nadim Lahad- Emirates Airline Representative, Abdul Karim –Director of Sales, Omeir Travel Agency, Festival’s jockey ambassadors Richard Mullen and Xavier Ziani, Viola Advertising’s Nabila Al Tuwal also addressed the press conference.
The gleaming gold trophies for the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Crown Jewel (Group 1) to be run on Friday, November 10, 2017 were on display and all the lady jockeys and apprentice jockeys taking part in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship respectively along with the nine pony jockeys were also present.
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 sponsors, 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 and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, 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, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.