The eyes of the Arabian Horse Racing World will be on Pleasanton and the Alameda County Fair today as the HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and a leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR take place.
The races will be the 2nd and 3rd races on the program in Pleasanton, with the first race on the card going off at 1:15 p.m.
The HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup has a purse of $30,000 and the race in Pleasanton will be one of only two stops in the U.S., the other one was in Texas.
The events are held under the umbrella of the His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.
HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is an important factor in the increased diversity of the activities of pure-bred Arabian racing horses.
It was launched for the first time in 2009, as directed by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. He is also the chairman for the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.
The Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Wathba stud farm in Normandy, France. The farm is owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Festival was organized in Abu Dhabi in 2009 with four races outside of the UAE to promote pure-bred Arabian horse racing in Europe. It included a series of races named in honor of the late HH Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (Zayed I). The Festival was deemed a great success and in 2010 when there were 17 races. Now in 2013, there are 73 races supported by the Festival around the globe.
With the support of Fegentri (the International Federation of Gentlemen and Lady Riders), H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, director Lara Sawaya offered a series of ladies' races with riders from Fegentri member countries from around the world.
The series, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, gives a new opportunity for female amateur riders to participate in a wider theater tghrugh the sponsorship of the HH Sheikha Fatima umbrella. In countries that allow it, one professional rider is included in the competition.
The 2013 Championship is run in 11 countries, with the winner of each competing in the Grand Championship in November in Abu Dhabi. All competitors are invited to attend.
Locations other than the two in the U.S. include Muscat, Oman; Casa Anfa, Morocco; Hoppegarten, Berlin; Newbury, England; Toulouse, France; Duindigt, Holland; Melbourne, Australia; Sluzwiec Racecourse, Warsaw, Poland, and Taby, Sweden.
The purse is $25,000 for the race.