Manama, Bahrain: The Kingdom of Bahrain is set to become the latest country to host the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship (IFAHR) when ten lady jockeys line-up at the starter’s gate at the Rashid Equestrian & Horse Racing Club on Friday.

The maiden Purebred Arabian race will be followed by the prestigious 90km HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Championship on Saturday, which has attracted 47 riders from around the world.

Both events are held under the directives of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

Obeyan heads the weights under Italian jockey Jessica Marcialis in the flat race with Korea’s professional jockey Mina Yu set to partner Shuwaiman in the 1,600m contest.

Other riders include Danish jockey Sabina Gronback (Mlolshan), Germany’s Eva Herresthal(Alhamdanieh), Hungary’s (Edna Toth) Eljellabieh, USA’s Filid Grant (Alkray), Australia’s Manuela Slamanig (Alshuwaimeh). The field also includes the UK’s Lorna Brooke, Oman’s Azhar Al Wardi and Blanche De Granvilliers from France.

Shaikh Duaij Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Endurance Committee at the Bahrain Royal Equestrian & Endurance Federation, confirmed that top riders from the Gulf region and elsewhere will make the lineup for the prestigious HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Championship.

“The competition is going to be very tough in the endurance ride while the professional and amateur lady jockeys will go all out to showcase their skills in the flat race,” he said.

“We are extremely excited to welcome all participants which reflects the positive cooperation that links the equestrian communities in the two brotherly countries of Bahrain and UAE and this has paved the way for staging two big successful events.”

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of Shaikh Mansoor Festival commented: “We would like above all to thank Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, for their strong support and backing for the women sport around the globe without which we would have not been able to stage these two big events in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“We are truly obliged to Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and all the members of the equestrian community in this beautiful country for their warm welcome and hospitality and the perfect preparations to host the two international races.

“The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup will be split into two competitions for the Arab and African lady riders and an Open competition for the international riders.

“The staging of the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship for the first time in Bahrain will mark a turning point in the championship itself and we are delighted for this development.”