Dubai: A record number of horses, including seven multiple world champions, will be seen in action when the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship (DIAHC) celebrates it 10th Anniversary this weekend.
The event, which is a unique competition for Purebred Arabian horses, showcasing their beauty, agility and heritage, will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition centre from Thursday to Saturday.
Horses from 24 countries, who will be competing for prizes totalling some $4 million (Dh14.7 million), are arriving in Dubai for the event, which starts with the racing and endurance championships and the qualifying classes for females on Thursday. Riding classes and qualifying for males will be held on Friday, while the event will culminate in the six championship classes on Saturday.
Among the former world champions who will be bidding for honours are Ghanadir Al Zobir, FT Shaella, Emandoria, Layan Al Khalediah, Banderos, MA Shadon El Sher and Escape Ibn Navarrone-D.
Speaking at a press conference to announce details regarding the championship — one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world — Ziad Galadari, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating a major milestone. It seems like only a few years since we held our first show and now we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary, which is very special.
“Every year something new has been added to the championship and this year is no different with the introduction of the yearling class, which we think will be very competitive as we have received a huge response from breeders and owners.
“We are also delighted to announce that a record number of horses will participate in this year’s championship. Compared to last year’s event, where 295 horses took part, we will see 371 compete for the five championship titles.”
Galadari thanked His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, under whose patronage the DIAHC is conducted.
He also noted the support of gold sponsors Emirates airline, Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal), Dubai Arabian Horse Stud, Athbah Stud and media partners Dubai Racing Channel and Al Medmare Magazine.
Khaled Al Haddad, Emirates District Manager for Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, said that in keeping with Emirates’ role in promoting sports, they were delighted to be sponsoring the DIAHC.
“Our support for equestrian events and horse racing stems from our pride and appreciation of our Arabian heritage,” he said. “We have always actively promoted Dubai alongside Emirates and Emirates alongside Dubai.
“We continue to work with valued partners such as the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship to further raise the profile of the city as a world leading destination.”
For the first time the action will take place on a state-of-the-art artificial surface at the purpose-built exhibition arena. The elite panel of judges include Scott Benjamin (Canada), Jerry Bialobok (Poland), Elisabeth Chat (Austria), Koenraad Detailleur (Belgium), Joanne Lowe (UK), Ann Norden (Sweden), Willi Poth (Germany) and Anna Stojanowska (Poland).