His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, today formally inaugurated the 14th Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship and the 13th Dubai International Horse Fair – simultaneous events running at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) until 18 March.
As two of the region's most anticipated Arabian equine platforms, the co-located events will gather a host of global and regional equine industry players across every segment of the professional and recreational segments – from stable and horse owners, breeders, professionals and veterinarians, to service and care providers, specialist product providers, leisure riders and everyday horse enthusiasts.
Ziad Abdullah Galadari, Chairman, Higher Organising Committee of Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship, said: "We thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance for their ongoing patronage and support of the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship and Dubai International Horse Fair."
"The Arabian Peninsula is the ancestral home of the Arabian horse and has been a part of the region's culture, history and traditions over centuries. The Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship and Fair are highly anticipated fixtures on the equestrian calendar where breeders' most prized thoroughbreds are introduced to a global and regional audience," said Galadari.
The Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship will see 289 horses competing for AED15 million (USD 4 million) in prize money. The competition, exclusive to purebred Arabian horses to judge their beauty, agility and heritage, will be attended by the region's most elite stables and breeders. More than 20 countries registered with the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) will show off their most prized horses.
The Arabian Horse Auction returns this year where purebreds from local studs will be available for viewing, bidding and buying. Held on the second day of the Fair, the auction will have 100 pureblood Arabian horse breeds on sale. Prospective buyers and members of the public can feel the thrill of a live auction with prices and stock to suit every budget.
Adding to the excitement of the Dubai International Horse Fair is a line-up of new features that will be enjoyed by youngsters, families and recreational riders alike. Al Tamimi Stables will host a "Fun Farm" where children will have the opportunity to touch, feed and learn about various domesticated animals such as Shetland ponies, goats, snakes, rabbits and birds.
A social clubs area, held in partnership with the Community Development Authority, will offer folklore dances and cultural activities during the show. Equestrian therapy for special needs children and adults will also be demonstrated.
Set to delight audiences again this year are the Spanish Equestrian performances, which includes 30 minutes of thrilling stunts and manoeuvres, as well as the Art Gallery section, specialising in equestrian pieces by renowned artists and sculptors. The Heritage Village is back featuring traditional Bedouin houses, falconry, local dishes, henna tattooing and more.
Leading international and local companies and brands exhibiting a range of products and services are:
Al Awani General Enterprises, Al Hawajer Stud, Al Khail Equestrian/Hba Equipments, Equine Products UK, First Choice Show Halters, Gummiwerk Kraiburg Elastik GmbH, Jone-shou Industrial, and Shadwell Estate
The Dubai International Horse Fair 2017 will be held in Za'abeel Halls 5 and 6 at Dubai World Trade Centre. Opening hours are 10am - 8pm on 16 March, 2pm – 8pm on 17 March and 11 am – 8 pm on 18 March. Admission is free of charge and open to trade visitors and the general public. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Pre-registration is now open at the show's official website www.dihf.ae.