Stage set for the HH Sheikha Fatima Championship in Casablanca
Casablanca – Morocco: Top international lady jockeys representing UAE, Morocco, Oman, Europe and elsewhere are set to battle it to the wire in the fifth leg of the 2014 renewal of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) at the Casablanca-Anfa Racecourse here on Friday, April 11.
The event is held under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival as part of the Grand Prix de SAR Al Tesse Royale Le Prince Heritier Moulay El Hassan to be contested over nine and a half furlongs and carries a total purse of Euros30.000.
UAE’s hope Anoud Al Suwaidi partners Ahdab BZ and lodges her claim from stall 11 as the Moroccan lady jockey Bouchra Narmoul makes her career’s debut onboard Azag BZ and jumps from gate 13.
Meanwhile, the only two professional jockeys; Germany’s Hofer Tamara astride Saqr II and Korea’s Keumjoo Lee, aboard Kanzaman, have been drawn in stalls 1 & 2 respectively.
According to the UAE ambassador to Morocco Alsari Saeed Al Dhahri, the support which is received by sports sector in the UAE underlines the keenness of the wise leadership of His Highness the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces coupled with the role which is played by Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs to promote sports in general and Arabian horse races in particular.
Speaking to newsmen at the Casablanca Grand Hayatt on Wednesday, Al Dhahri said: “Staging the fifth round of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) in Morocco is of great essence for the women sports in the world in general and within the UAE and the Arab world in particular,” he said.
Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and chairman of the women racing committee at IFAHR announced that under the directives of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a number of Moroccan newsmen and photographers were drawn to attend and cover the grand finale of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship in Abu Dhabi and the upcoming World Arabian Horse Conference 2014 in London, UK in May/ June as gesture of appreciation from the festival to the continued backing and support of the Moroccan media.
Meanwhile, Sawaya announced that, all the 13 girls who will be riding on Friday are also invited to attend the final in Abu Dhabi in November.
“I would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, Chairperson of UAE Women's Federation, Mother of the UAE, for her generous patronage of the series which carry the name of her highness. The support of HH Sheikha Fatima for the UAE women has enhanced their status and established a strong base for the women Arabian horse races worldwide,” she said.
“We are truly delighted to have a Moroccan lady jockey for the first time in the lineup. Bouchra Narmoul will be flying the Moroccan flag in the competition and this is a good sign that the championship is well on the track. The objective of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, is to see lady jockeys from the Arab world showing the best of them in all sports arenas,” Saway added.
“And bringing this highly prestigious race of the series to Morocco to be held on the International Day of Purebred Arabian Horse Racing is a new breakthrough to promote this noble creature and the Moroccan races as well.
“It’s a great pride for the festival to see 13 lady jockeys from around the world gathering for a dream lineup in the world’s richest ladies horse race at this beautiful venue,” she said.
1 – Al Flaij, Oman: Irish lady jockey Evanna McCutcheon
2 – Caulfield, Australia: Alyson Deniel, UK
3 – St Moritz, Switzerland: Prod’Home Pauline, France
4 – Sam Houston Park, USA: Sandee D. Martin (USA).
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), Al Rashid Investment, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE General Women Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. NaderSaab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.
- Hofer Tamara, German (Saqr II)
- Keumjoo Lee, Korea (Kanzaman)
- Manuela Slamanig, Austria (Bahar)
- Catherine Rier-Menard, France (Zidane)
- Serena Brotherton, GB (Ojnass)
- Sheila Ahern, Ireland (Rajstan)
- Anna Lupinacci, Italy (Shahg BS)
- Silja Storen, Norway (Romh L’atlas)
- Fatma Al Manji, Oman (Nawal BS)
- Hielevi Ljungqvist, Sweden (Mamouni)
- Anoud Al Suwaidi, UAE (Ahdab BZ)
- Eilidh Grant, USA (Aminemus)
- Bouchra Narmoul, Maroc (Azag BZ)
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Chafik Arich