Ireland’s McCutcheon, Sweden’s Dalbark win openers

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Ireland’s Evanna McCutcheon and Sweden’s Andreas Tapia Dalbark emerged as winners of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Horse Flat Racing Festival’s international openers for the year 2018 at the Al Rahba race course in the Wilayat of Barka in Oman on Friday, January 19.
McCutcheon revived memories of her visit in 2014 to Oman when she won the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race and was spot on again on Friday winning the 1600-metre race on Al Sahm.

Karin Dieltjens from Belgium was second on Al Saktoon while Hungary’s Rebka Gonczi finished third on Jareer in the race which carried a prize fund of Euros 30,000.

“I am very happy to win here and be the first to qualify for this year’s final of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship to be held in Abu Dhabi,” said the 32-year-old Irish jockey who is a trainer. McCutcheon has also had great success as a jockey partnering Zeftan to win the Ladies Derby at the Curragh in 2014 & top class point-to-pointer “Long Strand” (Multiple Open Lightweight winner). In 2014 she had won this race here in Oman on Secret Treasour and then went on to finish 8th in the Abu Dhabi finale to Jadey Pietrtaziewicz.

In Friday’s race, UK representative Ellie Mackenzie was fourth saying: “Djent ran really well, just getting up to beat France’s Perrine Cheyer on the line. I am so grateful to the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival series for the opportunity to ride today.”

The Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race was well contested though the cheering home fans were denied when Sweden’s Andreas Tapia Dalbark on Mawahib finished ahead of Omani Apprentice Saif Al Busaidi on BF Al Warith. Germany’s Maike Riehl was third on Sharood.

HH Sayyid Fahr Bin Fatik Bin Fahr Al Said, the Emir of Oman along with HE Mohammed Sultan Al Suwaidi, the UAE’s Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, 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 International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), Khulood Al Nuaimi, representative of the National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, and First Brigadier Abdul Razaq bin Abdul Qadir al Shahwarzi, Commander of the Royal Cavalry gave away the trophies to the winning connections of the two races.

HE Al Suwaidi hailed the strong ties between UAE and Oman and said both countries had a huge role in promoting Purebred Arabian horse racing. He thanked the UAE leadership for their focused promotion of UAE’s heritage sport.

Ms. Sawaya said, “Today’s races showed the quality of the Lady and Apprentice jockeys. We thank His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE 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 for the Festival’s success.”

“We will be unveiling the calendar of events of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival on February 17, 2018. It is a big year for us as the Festival marks 100 years of the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s birth as well as the 10 year since the Festival was launched by HH Sheikh Mansoor.”

Khulood Al Nuaimi, representing National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, said, “We are proud to be partners of the Festival for the third year and we wish the Festival’s activities in 2018 all success.”

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, Al Massood Automobiles and Nissan Middleast as official car partners, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority for Sports 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 2018, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.