Sam Houston Park hosts Sheikh Zayed Cup and
HH Sheikha Fatima Championship
Houston, Texas: UAE’s hope Anoud Al Suwaidi partners Br Little Red in the third round of the US$41.000 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) at the Sam Houston Park, US on Saturday, March 8. The race will be contested over seven furlongs on dirt.
The venue will also host later in the afternoon, the second round of the 1400m Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup which carries a total purse of $47,000 and has attracted quality field of ten Purebred Arabian runners going to post.
Having finished respectable second in the second round at the Caulfield Racetrack in Australia on her second start in the series, Anoud is looking forward to go one better this time out and do pride for her nation.
However, 12 Purebred Arabians have been declared for the race with lady riders from USA, UAE, Europe and elsewhere bidding to reserve a spot in the dream finale at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club later in November.
The race is held as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which 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's General Women's Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, 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.
Noura AlSuwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Women’s Association said: “Horse sport is part of our history and heritage, the sport of fathers and grandfathers, which receives the attention and backing of our wise leadership. We are pleased to host this prestigious event which coincides with the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the National Day and we are delighted to see our sisters from the Arab countries sharing the moment with us.”
“The ladies championship has hit the highest levels of success thanks to the support of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Emirates, and her keenness to back the UAE women’s sports and to encourage Emarati ladies to play their role as effective elements in our society. It’s one of the most prestigious races world wide as regards its financial prize-money and value.”
Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism& Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said: “Equestrianism in general, and Purebred Arabian racing in particular, has been a part of the life and spirit of every Emirati and by promoting this sport globally the Festival seeks to enhance the status of Arabian racing.”
Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of Ladies Racing Commitee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) commented:
“The HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Awards, Sawaya said all details would be revealed in a special news conference during the month of March.
“The HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak OSCAR and Darley Awards will be staged at the Dolby Theatre, the home of the Oscar, at Hollywood and Highlight centre on April 4.
“We have increased the categories to 11 instead of six which will match the Oscar in numbers only and outclass it otherwise. There will be 3000 guests from the US and other parts of the world plus 14 judges half of them are involved in Arabian racing and the others are knowledgeable.”
Speaking about Saturday’s two races Sawaya said: “The presence of the UAE jockey Anoud Al Suwaidi and Omani jockey Azhar Al Wardi alongside the top lady jockeys of the world in the third round of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship is another evidence that the festival is paying dividends in accordance with the vision and directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. We are hopeful that Anoud will go one better and make it a winning US debut for her nation,” she said.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf