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07 Aug 2018
Issue Number: Issue 647
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Spectators in for Golden treats with some of the best Arabians on show at 2018 DIAHC

15/03/2018
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Quality and not quantity is the focus of this year’s Dubai International Arabian Horse Show. The 15th edition of the event is set to run alongside the Dubai International Horse Fair at Dubai World Trade Centre from 15- 17 March. The championship is being held under the support and guidance of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the UAE Minister of Finance and Industry. And unlike most events of its kind, this week’s DIAHC will boast a lineup of the finest Arabian horses from around the world competing against local and regionally bred equines for the top prizes on offer.

Some of the best Arabian breeds will be on display at the event and the horses will be judged on the basis of their beauty, agility and heritage. Horses will be judged when they are standing, walking and trotting on the basis of their type, head and neck, body and top line, legs and movement. A total of 220 horses, including eight crowned ‘World Gold Champions’ at the 2017 Paris World Arabian Horse Championship, will compete in 16 qualifying classes followed by six championships at the event. The total prize money on offer at DIAHC 2018 is a staggering $4.6 million, making it the richest event of its kind globally.

And organisers are keen to make the event worthwhile for breeders, owners and spectators. “Our focus is on quality and not quantity that’s why we have put in place rules to ensure only the best attend the event as participants,” said Ziad Abdullah Galadari, the chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of DIAHC. “It’s like in Flat racing you have ratings for the horses. We have a similar rule determining which horses will participate and this is just to ensure we are able to host the best horses at the show so that it is a great experience for the spectators. “The move has the approval of HH Sheikh Hamdan and we had discussed this with him.

“The UAE is home to some of the finest Arabian horses in the world, which is the oldest purebred known to man and spectators will get the opportunity to see these legendary creatures who are admired worldwide for their beauty and athleticism.” Qusay Obaidallah, the general secretary of DIAHC, echoed similar sentiments when saying the championship was keen to focus on the creme de la creme. “The show has grown so much over the years in terms of participation, but despite the growing interest, we’ve decided to go with a lesser number of horses this year so that people get to see quality,” he said.

Abdelaziz Al Marzooqi, the executive director of the Dubai Arabian Horse Stud, who own some of the best Arabians in the world is happy with the decision. “Two of the eight Gold Champions belong to us so it’s us against the rest of the world and overall this will give us local breeders the chance to show what we have,” he said. A lot of business is expected to be transacted at the Dubai International Horse Fair, which has yet again attracted international interest with a number of brands signing up to set up their stalls at the fair. Business visitors from around the world are expected to visit the fair during the course of the three days, which will provide a boost to equestrian businesses based in the Emirates. Galadari added: “It will be a great event for those involved in the breeding and equestrian development business because the fair brings everyone involved in the business under one roof.”

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