Dr Hussain Al Reda
Dr Hussain Al Redha, a towering figure in the field of Purebred Arabian racing, passed away in last July. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse will pay tribute to the late Dr Hussain Al Redha by naming the first race at Friday’s race meeting in his honour.

The Purebred Arabian handicap is open to horses aged four and above and will be contested over a distance of 1400 metres.

Al Redha, who was regarded as one of the most prominent orthopedic specialist as well as in neurosurgery, passed away in July, 2020. It is no secret that the Purebred Arabian was closest to his heart - so it is fitting to see the Emirates Racing Authority and Jebel Ali Racecourse honour his achievements in promoting the breed.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Hassan, Dr Al Redha’s son, extended his warm thanks to the Organizing Committee for remembering the role his father played in supporting and organizing horse races in the past.

Passionate supporter

“Dr. Hussain was a passionate supporter of Purebred Arabian racing, and played a pivotal part in the development of equestrian sport right from the early 1980s,” he said.

Hassan recalled a famous quote by his father, who said: “Purebred Arabian horses are God’s creation; beautiful, kind, and unlike any other. They are close to the heart of the Arab world and will always be held in highest esteem”.

He also highlighted Al Redha’s roles as a Core Steering Member of Arab Races and Emirates International Challenge Stakes and as the Chairman of the Emirates Horse Breeders Society.

Having established the Desert Arabian Stud in 1982, which has grown to breed and tend for over 150 horses through the years, Al Redha emerged as one of the sport’s most influential promoters. “My father’s legacy lives on through the imprint and inspiration rendered to the equestrian community,” Hassan said.

He also paid tribute to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance for their efforts to take horseracing to the highest level not just in the UAE but around the world.

“I am honoured to thank Major General Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security, for his tireless efforts and keenness to develop equestrian sport in the UAE.

“Today, Jebel Ali Racecourse is a proud witness of the great role played by Sheikh Ahmed in the promotion and development of horseracing.”

Hassan also thanked Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of Sheikh Hamdan’s Office and Chairman of Shadwell for the ‘opportunity to remember the late Dr. Hussain Al Redha by dedicating the first race to his name.”

Al Sayegh also praised the efforts of Al Redha and said that standard and growth of Purebred Arabian racing is entirely the result of his dedicated work and planning.

Jebel Ali Racecourse Manager, Shareef Al Halawani also praised Al Redha for his extraordinary commitment to promoting Arabian Racing and said that his his absence will be deeply felt at Friday’s races.