Dubai: The 11th Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship (DIAHC) started in spectacular fashion on Thursday at the Dubai World Trade Centre with some of the world’s most prized Purebred Arabian show horses in action.
An estimated 400 horses from 21 countries and five continents will be competing in the three-day event which boasts a record prize fund of $4.6 million.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the openind day’s action which featured the Championships for Racing and Endurance horses.
Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, who is the chief patron of the event, was also present.
Shaikh Mohammad was briefed by organisers on the various horses participating in the championship.
He expressed his satisfaction with the positive reception attained by the championship from regional and international equestrian enthusiasts.
The Horse Show runs simultaneously with the 10th Dubai International Horse Fair until Saturday (March 23).
Earlier in the morning, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation Authority, formally inaugurated the twin events which are the region’s most important arenas for Arabian horses.
Together they host global and regional equine industry players across every professional section including horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, service and care providers, specialist product providers, leisure riders and everyday horse enthusiasts.
“We thank His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, for their ongoing support and patronage of the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship & Fair,” said Ziad Abdullah Galadari, Chairman, Higher Organising Committee of Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship.
“The Middle East is globally recognised as an international equine capital and these world-class events continue to showcase the legendary grace, beauty, speed and power of genuine Arabian thoroughbreds in an accessible, family-orientated environment.”
In addition to showcasing the region’s lucrative equine industry, the Dubai International Horse Fair will provide several exciting activities for families and the general public, including polo demonstrations organised by the Dubai Polo Club and Equestrian Club (Saturday), an equestrian-themed Art Gallery and a celebration of local culture at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) organised Heritage Village, which will showcase the UAE’s authentic cuisine, clothing, handicraft, calligraphy and more.
Meanwhile, close to 100 Arabian horse breeds of best-in-class pedigree from local studs will go under the hammer at the Horse Auction for Purebred Arabian horses on the final day of the show (Saturday).
The auction is expected to attract hundreds of prospective regional buyers.
More than 200 companies and brands from five continents are represented at the Fair. New participants include France, Iran, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Tanzania.
Leading international and local companies and organisations will also showcase a range of products and services to cater to the burgeoning equine industry.
Participating companies include Ajman Stud, Al Hawajer Stud, Dubai Arabian Stud, Dubai Equine Hospital, Dubai Racing Channel Studio, Jebel Ali Racecourse and Shadwell Stud, based in the United Kingdom, among others. The Dubai International Horse Fair opens at 8am and from 2pm and admission is free. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.