Thu, 26 May, 2016, 15:49
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s 7th World Arabian Horse Racing Conference (WAHRC) got off to great start in Rome, Italy with HE Saqr Ahmed Al Raisi, the UAE Ambassador to Italy welcoming over 500 delegates from nearly a 100 countries for the three-day annual event.
Soon after the opening remarks by the chief guests the Conference began with three sessions to be worked off on the opening day.
“We have to hail the support of the leadership of the UAE who have led from the front in helping the heritage sport of the country grow and with this Arabian racing has gained tremendously,” HE Al Saqr said.
“Arabian horse racing is now competing with all major sport and we hope this conference adds to the growth and progress all over the globe,” he added.
IFAHR chief Sami Al Bouenien said the WAHRC is getting bigger and bigger with more experts bring present to share their views and expertise. “IFAHR and its member countries have gained immensely in the process and these events are all big steps forward for Arabian racing,” he said.
Dr. Abdulla Elreyes, Director-General of the UAE National Archives, Ministry of Presidential Affairs hailed the far-sighted approach of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs in implementing the Festival. “ HH Sheikh Mansoor always has a plan in place and then works on the strategy to execute it. Today the WAHRC has reached a 7th star,” he remarked.
Mubarak Al Nuaimi of TCA Abu Dhabi reminded the large audience that the Festival had promoted Abu Dhabi and the heritage sport of the UAE and said, “TCA Abu Dhabi is proud to be partnership such a great event which has a global reach.”
Stefania Mastromarino, representing the Italian Ministry of Agriculture said, “We are thankful for the trust reposed in us though we became an IFAHR member only last year. This event being held here is great for Italy’’ Arabian racing and we hope to build on it. This is a strategic partnership with the Festival aimed at the future.”
Danilo Di Caprio representing the Capenelli racecourse promised a great and exciting race day on Sunday when three of the Festival’s races will be run for Purebred Arabian horses.
“We have over 1200 breeders and bloodstock of 21,000 in Italy,” said Francesco Samtoro, Head of Italy’s Arabian Racing for over 20 years. “Since 1990 we have seen the sport of Arabian racing progressing well as we started breeding for racing and we hope to soon catch up with the rest of the world,” he said.
The National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing company’s representative Miss Khulud Al Nuaimi highlighted the role of 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 success of the Festival while Khalid Hussein of the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare in complementing the effort of HH Sheikh Mansoor and improving the cause of women in the region and all over the world.
Earlier on Wednesday, the draw was held for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship races that are to be held after the three-day conference on ‘Emirates Race Day’ at the Capanelle race course.
Reigning HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Champion Astrid Wullschleger is part of the ten strong line-up as she bids to qualify again to defend the title she won in November last year in Abu Dhabi. The 30-year-old Swiss jockey will partner Mirko in Sunday’s race. The other jockeys and the horses they drew are Australian Cecily Eaton on Tabasco, Denmark’s Rikke Bay Torp on Tiffany, German Silvia Pattinson on Tersilia, Irish Lisa O’Neil on Sibillina, Moroccan Bouchra Marmoul on Sole Di Chia, Omani Fatma Al Manji on Quadrieoglio, Poland’s Anna Gil on Tintudi Gallura, South Korea’s Lee Keumjoo on Turriga and Jessica Marcialis representing hosts Italy on Monnalisa.
The riders and runners in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race are Argentina’s Lucas Berticelli on Usuym, Australian Jordan Childs on Ultzana, Belgian Zoe Vande Velde on Makbar Du Piboul, Brandon Duchaine of Canada on Unika Dorado, French jockey Adrien Moreau on Urlo Di Chia, Great Britain’s Gemma Tutty on Usini, Italian Gabriele Cannarella on Triade, Moroccan Omar Lakjal on Urugano Di Chia, Oman’s Saif Al Balushi on Unu Di Gallura and South Korean Jeonghee Jeong on Urge De Gallura.
The opening subject for discussion on May 27, the second day of the WAHRC, is Media, PR and Communication to be moderated by UK’s Philip Brenan and the panel members are John Cobb(UK), Jeane Claude Allies (France), Debbie Burt (UK), Stefanie Corum (US), Yakoob Al Saadi (UAE), Derek Thompson (UK), Mondher Zoueiten(Tunisia) and M Satya Narayan (India).
The after session is on ‘Women in Racing’ and the Moderator will Pamela Burton (US), the panel members being HE Lulwa Alawadhi (Bahrain), Munira Al Marzuki (UAE), Elizabeth Zinde (Switzerland), Laura King ( UK), Michelle Morgan(US), Renee Kauch (FR), Victoria Shaw(Australia) and Lara Sawaya (UAE).
The second day’s final session will be on Rules, Conditions & Regulations and the Moderator will be Pat Buckley (IRL). The panel members are Graham Walcroft (UK), Ahmad Saeed Almarzouki( UAE), Dr Salah Al Juneibi(UAE), Jirayr Habibian (Armenia), Hicham Debbagh (Morocco), Pam Cordrey (Scandinavia), Dr Paul Gadot (Fr), Neil Abraham ( Canada)and Michelle Youngdale (US).
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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, 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 Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.