H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Great show by Omani, Emirati lady jockeys in Houston
||Oman's Fatma Al Manji on Sanddpiper won the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival's HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup after TM Junior Johnson won the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup on Saturday night at the Sam Houston Park in the US.
The Bill Waldron-trained 5-year-old mare Sanddpiper and Fatma Al Manji created history by becoming the first winners of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup, the first-ever and the richest race for lady jockeys riding Purebred Arabian horses.
The UAE's Shathra Al Hajjaj rode Rich Kinkga to third place behind the pre-race favourite TM Superbird which was ridden by Sandee Beattie.
"This is one of my biggest and greatest victories. I am happy for my family and my country and I thank HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak and HH Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for creating this opportunity for us," said Al Manji.
Emirati lady jockey Al Hajjaj was also very pleased with her third place on Rich Kinkga after Dixies Valentine, the horse she was to ride was withdrawn before the race.
"To come here and ride in the US and finish third is indeed a great result for me and I hope to improve and bring more laurels to the UAE," she said.
A large crowd of fans earlier witnessed another great race when in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Grade 3) race worth US $ 30,000,
TM Junior Johnson under Jose Figueroa finished ahead of Status Symbol under Dakota Wood with Its Far From Over, owned by Emirati Mohammed Faisal Al Hammadi, finished third under jockey Travis Wales.
Omar Al Shamshi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the UAE Embassy in the US, Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, Abdul Mohsin Al Dossary, Assistant Under Secretary of Sports at the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, Talal Al Hashmi of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Ali Moosa Al Khamiri of Dubai Equestrian Club and Patrick Buckley of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Stephen Bowey of Invest AD along with US officials attended the prize distribution and gave away the trophies.
Al Shamshi hailed the success of the Omani and UAE jockey and said, "The Festival's success is already being reflected in the success of the Arab lady jockeys here in this first-ever race for lady jockeys."
"We are glad that such large numbers turned out and cheered for the two Arabian races that we staged here tonight," said Ms Sawaya.
"We have another great night ahead when we stage the 2012 HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival Darley Awards and The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award here in Houston tomorrow night," she added.
"The success of the Festival's activities would not have succeeded or realized any development or continuity without the personal and tangible support of HH Sheikh Mansoor," said Al Dossary.
Al Hashmi of ADSC said, "It is another proud day for us as Al Manji and Al Hajjaj have performed with such great success at the highest level. It is also a great victory for Arabian racing and the efforts of the Sheikh Mansoor Festival."
The H.H Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE's General Women's Union, the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Saada Saab Antypas