The Arabian Racehorse Issue 20

Page 1

Issue No.20




Jewel Crown HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Special




RACEHORSE Issue 20 - 2016


News ARO Awards, HRH Countess of Wessex Praises Festival, HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Supports Awards, Shadwell Stallion Roster, DIAR Award Supports Artists, HARC Increase in UK, HARC Worldwide Report, New Stallions at Grand Courgeon; Sir Bani Yas to stud; Polin website;


HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Conference for Education & Training


HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship Final


HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship Final


Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown


Festival Focus - Eric Lemartinel & Al Asayl


Festival Focus - Catherine Walton


Festival Focus - Julie Krone


Festival Focus - Ryan Colley


Festival Focus - Alice Mills



Produced by equine creative media Flat 1 Hamilton Stables, Hockham Road, Compton, Berkshire, RG20 6QJ 00 44 7782 349 047 Excluding News reports, unless otherwise stated, all features, reports and photographs are by Debbie Burt (copyright) - photographs may be viewed and purchased at THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


NEWS ARO ANNUAL AWARDS & DINNER DANCE Tickets are still available at the standard rate of £40 for the ARO Annual Dinner Dance and Awards night, to be held again at Ardencote Manor in Warwickshire. Tickets can be paid for through ARO client accounts if in credit, or you can send a cheque payable to ARO Ltd, to: Gemma Cobb, ARO, The Racecourse, Newbury, RG14 7NZ. There are 40 double rooms being held in the Lakeside building, until 4th January, at a discounted rate of £90, including breakfast. For more information to get the discounted rate

on room bookings please contact the ARO office. There will be 10 guests seated per table, these can be booked as a group of 10 or smaller groups can be sat together. We will distribute a menu to all guests in advance, as meal choices need to be received 10 days prior to the event. There will be a Sparkling Wine drinks reception, with a cash bar available to all guests throughout the evening. For more information please contact; or

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HRH THE COUNTESS OF WESSEX PRAISES THE HH SHEIKH MANSOOR FESTIVAL HRH The Countess of Wessex praised the activities of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival at the Women of the Future Summit, a forum dedicated to discussing the world of millennial leaders held at the Hilton Park Lane, London on Wednesday 16 November. HE Sulaiman Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to the UK, together with Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), attended a private meeting with the Women of the Future Programme’s Royal Ambassador, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex.

HRH The Countess of Wessex with HE Sulaiman Al Mazroui and Ms Lara Sawaya

At the highly-prestigious engagement held only for sponsors and associates of the awards, HRH The Countess of Wessex together with Women of the Future Programme Founder Pink Lilani CBE DL, congratulated HE Al Mazroui and Ms. Sawaya on the ever-evolving activities of the Festival and the continued efforts of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs to sustain and develop the universal growth of Arabian racing. Women of the Future Awards host and British television newsreader, Julie Etchingham, was also in attendance to learn more about HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival’s sponsorship of the Women of the Future Sport Award. During the extensive discussion, Her Royal Highness received a highly educational insight into the global profile of the Festival and the training, mentorship and professional guidance offered by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World to female jockeys under the umbrella of the Ladies World Championship series.



HRH The Countess of Wessex was presented with an award and commemorative book by HE Sulaiman Al Mazroui and Ms. Lara Sawaya on behalf of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to pay thanks to Her Royal Highness and celebrate the Festival’s inaugural sponsorship of the awards. Ms. Sawaya, Executive Director commented, "This is an extremely proud moment for HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and the Ambassador and we are honoured to meet with HRH The Countess of Wessex. “It has been a privilege to discuss the work of our patron HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Her Royal Highness and provide further insight into the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship”, she said. “Supporting young female talent in sport, especially Arabian racing is extremely important to HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, and we look forward to presenting the Women of the Future Sport Award at tonight’s ceremony. We wish jockey Alice Mills and the remaining finalists the very best of luck.”

HH SHEIKH MANSOOR FESTIVAL SUPPORTS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD The UAE Ambassador in London, HE Sulaiman Al Mazroui along with Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) gave away the Women of the Future Sport award to Paralympic archer Danielle Brown, world number one, winner of the Gold in two consecutive Paralympic Games and three World Championships. It was a proud night for Purebred Arabian racing and HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival as over 500 business leaders congregated at the Hilton Park Lane, London for the coveted Women of the Future Awards on Wednesday, 16 November. After receiving the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival-sponsored Award, Brown said, “I was not expecting this award and I'm impressed, because all the women who were on the final ballot deserve this honor.”



Despite missing out on the award, HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship finalist Alice Mills achieved exceptional success during the Week of Women programme, raising awareness of the challenges faced as a young female jockey together with increasing the ever-growing profile of HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival.

Alice Mills with Sarah Oliver of the Amateur Jockeys Association and Jockey Co-ordinator for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival

HE Al Mazroui and Ms. Sawaya, welcomed guests who had journeyed from the UAE to support the Festival’s inaugural sponsorship of the Women of the Future Sport Award, including Mr. Adnan Sultan Al Nuami, Director General Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Mr. Sultan Aouda, Managing Director and Munira Marzouki and Moza Al Mansouri of National Feed & Flour Production & Marketing

Company (LLC), Mansour Al Mansouri and Khalid Al Mansouri of the Emirates Falconers Club. Great Britain’s Arabian Racing Organisation, the Amateur Jockeys Association and dedicated horseracing newspaper, the Racing Post, plus The Arabian Racehorse magazine were also in attendance. HE Al Mazroui said, “The UAE leads the way in supporting women and their empowerment and this conference supports women as entrepreneurs, sports and in all areas. “We are pleased with the contribution of the UAE, through the UAE Embassy in the United Kingdom, and we are making efforts to boost such activities between the United Kingdom and the UAE.” Ms. Sawaya commented, “We thank HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for this. Recognizing and celebrating high achieving women across a diverse range of industries is a cause very close to HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s heart, and we are proud to support the Women of the Future Sport Award which aligns so closely with the values and philosophies of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World.



‘We are delighted that Alice Mills was selected to go through to the finals and she has done a wonderful job to represent the Festival in the week’s leading up to the awards. She is an excellent ambassador for our sport and we hope, as a result of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival’s partnership with the Women of the Future Awards, we will further inspire people all over the world to become involved in the sport of Arabian racing. 'Congratulations to Danielle Brown and the rest of the category winners who are all exceptional young women and role models to us all." Photos (c) HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival & Debbie Burt The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports

Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

Danielle Brown recieves her trophy from HE Sulaiman Al Mazroui and Ms Lara Sawaya THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Al Jakbar(FR)

SHADWELL ANNOUNCE STALLION ROSTER FOR 2017 The official 2017 nomination fees for Shadwell Arabian Stallions have been announced by Shadwell. AL JAKBAR has made an remarkable start in his stallion career having sired his first Group PA winners in 2016 from his first two crops with Aghsaan at Newbury (UK) in June (ARO Cup, Group 3 PA) and Jamaayil at Toulouse (France) in October (French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge Sprint, Group 2 PA). His nomination fee for natural cover remains unchanged in 2017 at £500 (1st Jan SLF). In 2017, he will also be available for breeders using AI (with frozen semen) for the first time at the nomination fee of €800.

NO RISK AL MAURY has had his first runners in 2016 and they have exceeded expectations. So far, he has had winners in Morocco, USA, the UK and France, including the Group 3 PA winner Aicha De Monlau(Prix Razzia III, La Teste de Buch, France) and the Listed PA winner Risk De Riolat (Prix Mansour Dahbi, Casablanca, Morocco). Some other promising progeny made their debut this year such as Barnamaj and Daisy De Vialettes, which finished respectively third in the French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge Group 2 PA for colts and gelding and fourth in the fillies’ equivalent. NO RISK AL MAURY’s fee will remain unchanged in 2017 at €1,500 (natural cover) and €2,000 (AI with frozen semen).


9 Triple Kahayla Classic winner MADJANI is proving popular again. In 2016, his son Handassa became his first Group 1 PA winner when he won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round III in March at Meydan Racecourse in record time. MADJANI’s progeny showed consistency and have won races in the UAE, the UK, USA, France, Morocco, Sweden, the Netherlands, Qatar, Turkey and Oman. His nomination fee will also remain at his mark of €1,500 (natural cover) and €2,000 (AI with frozen semen).

with their racing progeny and we are looking forward to a successful 2017 season.” commented Richard Lancaster, Shadwell’s Stud Director.

From limited opportunities, multiple Group 1 PA winner AL SAOUDI consistently produces performers worldwide. He continues his career at Haras de Saint Faust (France) at a fee of €500 (natural cover).

“It has always been Shadwell’s policy to set fees at a level which give all breeders the chance to breed from the best stallions. We continue to maintain this policy with our Arabian stallions. They have all had a very good season

No Risk Al Maury (FR)



DIAR PRIZE WINNER SUPPORTS ARTS CHARITY The Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA) enjoyed a lively and celebratory Private View evening on November 21 at its new Annual Exhibition venue Palace House Mews in Newmarket, at the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art recently opened by Her Majesty the Queen. Society President, Sir Mark Prescott, Bt. opened the event and introduced outgoing Chair Debbie Burt Hon. SEA who announced the exciting news that an Emerging Artist Bursary is to be established. This will be funded in part by using the money Burt has won in two Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) Journalists Awards in 2012 and 2015. Supported by Shadwell Stud and the DIAR Committee, the awards take

place annually with the grand prize including a donation to a charity of the winner's choice. The position of Chairman of the SEA has now been handed to Sheila Bailey, who brings with her a wealth of experience as an effective charity and not-for-profit professional. On behalf of the Society she thanked Debbie Burt for her hard work and the many years she has devoted to the organisation both as both Honorary Secretary and as Chairwoman.

Debbie Burt receives the cheque on behalf of the SEA from Rachael Gowland THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE



Lisa Miller Fine Art

Original Arabian horse paintings and prints for sale at: Commissions available. Email: or Tel: 01994 453545



ZILCO RACE & EXERCISE SADDLES Wide range of styles and weights. Top quality materials and workmanship.

ZILCO BRIDLEWORK AND ACCESSORIES Extensive choice of colours, styles and materials

Photo: Debbie Burt- Equine Creative Media



HERITAGE ARABIAN RACING CLUB CONFIRMS ADDITIONAL FUNDS TOWARDS 2017 UK SEASON The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to learn that the Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) will continue its’ support for the 2017 ARO Season with additional funds to enable the possibility of more races. HARC approved horses have made small but significant strides to establish a foothold in the ARO Calendar and as this season progressed, more horses were registered. This allowed the UK’s first HARC only race to take place on the Season Finale card, won by the overall HARC UK Champion racehorse, LB Farrah. It is ARO’s intention, depending on registrations, to stage three HARC only races in 2017 alongside the existing bonus scheme. Established last year, this successful scheme allocates HARC funds to every domestic race, irrespective of the race sponsor or prize money.

Teresa Gavin in the winners enclosure with LB Farrah (GB)

ARO Director Genny Haynes concluded: “Since the scheme began, we have seen the numbers of HARC approved horses registered with ARO double. We are incredibly grateful to HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the HARC committee for this initiative, it is their commitment and continued support which has enabled ARO to integrate this scheme within our existing ‘grass roots’ programme. This has boosted the opportunities for the small owner of traditionally bred Arabians, which is encouraging them back to the sport in the UK.” For further information on the HARC scheme in the UK, please contact the ARO office on 01635 524445, whilst more details regarding HARC worldwide may be found on their comprehensive new website:

Teresa Gavin receives her trohpies as owner, trainer and jockey of LB Farrah (GB) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


HARC ON TRACK FOR SUCCESS WORLDWIDE The Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC), the brainchild of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, HARC was launched just 20 months ago in order to support and promote racing for those who wish to preserve the traditional characteristics and type of the pure Arabian racehorse. Originally 11 countries came on board to support these principles but since the word of HARC has spread, we now have 15 affiliated countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, Morocco,Palestine, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, and the USA) supporting and racing HARC horses worldwide. Eight more countries have expressed an interest to

join (Argentina, Canada, Chile, Germany, Italy, Kasakhstan, Spain & Uruguay). HARC's support is growing. HARC has many good news stories to share, starting in Brazil and spreading across the world as far as Australia, both countries have a healthy share of HARC horses and HARC racing is booming. Brazil held 9 dedicated HARC races this year and finished on a high with two National Grand Prix events held on 19th November and Australia have just launched the start of the new season and are off to a flying start. In some regions HARC horses are few and far between, and smart solutions have been sought to overcome these individual situations. For example, Evie Tubbs Sweeney,

Reid River R-Mani (The Accolade x Reid River First Impresshines). Australia's 1st HARC winner of the 2016/17 season. (credit: Glenys Lilley) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Runners in the first ever UK HARC only race at Chelmsford, held as the penultimate race on the ARO Season Finale & Sultanate of Oman Race day card. The seven runners are led by Samauring Zayin. (credit: Debbie Burt) HARC's USA representative has formulated a series of 'road shows' and tells us :- "For this year, I have refocused my expectations after several experiences (i.e. racing forums) to formulate a supported opinion about our path ahead. And I am thrilled to report that the tipping point is happening; people are talking; curiosity is stirring. "I am approached at every single Arabian show function I attend with questions. In fact, the Executive Director of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is constantly asking me about bringing back Arabian racing at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, and tapping into the thriving Arabian breeding community in Scottsdale – the most

concentrated area for Arabian horses in the world, and a Mecca for affluent Arabian horse owners."

HARC members at the AGM and conference in Abu Dhabi in February this year (credit: Debbie Burt)



HARC has shown the United States that it is here to stay, and will continue to incentivize those HARCbred horses. We have nominated dozens of HARC runners, stallions and broodmares and we have signed up individual members. We have partnered with Arabian Origins Marketing‌ an e-marketing company that services over 40,000 of the world’s Arabian horse community, and we have educated and planted seeds in the minds of thousands of Arabian horse enthusiasts on the sport of Arabian racing.The moral of the story?...

HARC is here to stay". Likewise initially the UK had only 9 HARC horses in training so a series of HARC bonus scheme races were put in place, but just one year later those numbers have doubled to 19! Genny Haynes, Director of ARO, was able to end the 2016 season with the first race of all HARC horses. This was won in true HARC style by LB Farrah owned, trained and ridden by Teresa Gavin, the mare went on to be leading 'UK HARC horse of 2016'. ARO are now proposing 3 HARC only races for the 2017 season - well done UK!

Close finish to the first UK HARC only race: Teresa Gavin and LB Farrah (GB) (Sambist x Simeon Safira) passes Kallista (GB) (Sambist x GAS Pepelka) and Steve Harrison. They filled the same positions in the UK HARC Championship (credit: Debbie Burt) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Nelly Philippot, President of Arabian Racing in Belgium, joined HARC just 1 year ago and was determined to get started, despite only 1 eligible HARC horse in training. Nevertheless after a series of 'bonus scheme' races throughout this season, she managed to pull off a hugely successful

Nelly was also able to hold a token Nations Cup which was proudly won by Russia with 9 points amassed through 2nd, 3rd & 4th positions. Nelly commented "Definitely, seen from the exploding enthusiasm ... there is a major demand / need for Heritage Racing and I am so happy that after all the years I was dreaming of it, it now comes to life!!!"

Pamils Lipse HARC European Heritage Champion 2016

(credit: Lamia Leclerq) 'European Heritage Championship' race. Eleven of Europe's best HARC horses, from Sweden, Russia, UK & Benelux,raced for a purse of Euros 20,000 - Sweden came away with the top prize with Ingrid Kindh’s grey mare Pamills Lipse (Top Flyte - Pamill).

Cantiga VE (Feitizzo Rach - Unic Appeal JP) - Brazil's HARC National Champion Filly 2016 (credit: Karol Loureiro)

Marei Rach (Voltaire Rach x Melina Rach) - Brazil's HARC National Champion Horse 2016 (credit: Karol Loureiro) HARC is definitely making great strides, next season we hope to build on all these successes. We are currently in a bid to bring on board new sponsors to enable HARC's future growth globally through increased prize money. Also through continuing education we hope to encourage new people into Arabian racing and bring back the owners and breeders from days gone by. LEIGH YOUNG Club Secretary Heritage Arabian Racing Club



"supporting Arabian racing since 2012 "





NEW STALLIONS AT GRAND COURGEON Two new stallions are arrving at Haras du Grand Courgeon, Mu'azzaz (GB) and Kalino (US) and will be available for 2017 breeding season. Mu'azzaz (Amer ex Massamarie), won the 2012 Shadwell Dubai Inernational Stakes (Gr1PA) and also the Hawthorn Hill International Stakes (Gr2PA), both run at Newbury over 1m2f. Trained for the majority of his career by Julian Smart for HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, from 28 starts he recorded four further victories in the UK and Doha. He was third twice in the Abu Dhabi International Stakes (Gr3 PA) over a mile at Newmarket in 2010 and 2012. He was also third the UAE Presidents Cup (Gr1PA) when trained by Georgina Ward. By world renown sire Amer, he is from the

top class de Watrigant female tail line of Mandore, his grand dam Margau being a sister to Dormane. She is also the grandam of 2014 HH Emir's Sword winner Assy (Amer x Margouia). Mu'azzaz is a full brother to Mared Al Sahra, also a winner of the HH Emir's Sword (Gr1PA) and sire. From his first three starts his three year old brother, Ebraz, was placed third in this years Al Rayyan Cup (Prix Kesberoy) (Gr1PA) on his debut, fourth in the Qatar Total Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Gr1PA)) and won on his first start in Doha in November. He holds an entry in the Qatar Derby on 28 December.



Kalino (US) in Qatar in February Kalino (Kaolino x Virlaxy) was the winner of the 2015 HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1PA); run over a mile in Novmeber, it is the world's richest Arabian horse race. He secured a further three wins in France and Doha from 9.5 to 10.5 furlongs and was also second in the Doha Cup (Gr1PA), to Al Mourtajez and the Qatar Derby (Gr2PA) to Djainka Des Forges. He could well prove a popular choice for UK breeders as his sire Kaolino was leading UK sire in 2015 and is only available in the US for 2017.

2015 Jewel Crown winner Kalino (US) and Olivier Peslier



SIR BANI YAS AT HARAS DE THOUARS New recruit to Haras de Thouars, Sir Bani Yas (FR), was a dual Group 1 winner in England, in the Qatar International Stakes and the HH Sheikh Zayed Cup, both run over a mile. Racing in the colours of his breeder HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan he ran 18 times, and was only once out of Group or Listed company, winning or placed in 16 starts.

is out of a half sister to Abu Alemarat (Al Nasr), UAE Triple Crown winner and champion UAE four year old. He hails from a leading dam line for influential international performance sires including Saint Laurent, Al Sakbe and Magic De Piboul.

Trained by Jean-Francois and Elizabeth Bernard, he also won the Prix Carthage-Hannibal (HH Sheikhk Zayed Cup), the Prix Cheri Bibi (both Gr2PA). He is one of the few horses to beat Al Mourtajez - in the Listed French Derby, which now has Gr1PA status. Sir Bani Yas (Amer x Nassem El Baher)

Sir Bani Yas (FR) and Tadhg O'Shea win the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) at Sandown in August THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE



The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) runs a programme of full Arabian racedays supported by single Arabian races on Thoroughbred fixtures from May to September. Racing with ARO allows owners and breeders to particpate at all levels, proving their bloodlines through competition. CONTACT ARO LTD FOR MORE DETAILS


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23 PHOTOGRAPHER ROBERT POLIN'S WEBSITE UPDATED The website of French equine photographer Robert Polin is now live at: With a section dedicated to "Arabian Horses" you can discover the 43 Arabian horse races that he photographed in south-west France in 2016.

Member & Treasurer of Aquitaine The UPP (Union of ProfessionalPhotographers) active member of the SAIF (Society of Authors.)

Whilst in the "The eye of the photographer" section there is a small feature on AL MOURTAJEZ.

Robert POLIN - Photographer Author

14 Coast Presbytery - 64160 Saint-Armou Tel: 05 59 12 04 51 - 06 08 77 42 17




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Jockey Ambassador Richie Mullen speaking on the opening panel of the conference Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Conference for Training and Education was held under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister And Minister of Presidential Affairs, as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival at the National Archives, Abu Dhabi, commencing on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The sessions on day one began after brief welcome speeches by Dr.

Abdulla Alreyes, Director General of the National Archive, Najla Nasser of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing, Sami Al Boenain Chairman of IFAHR and Ahmed Saeed, from the Judicial Department. The panels are excellent source of information and the ensuing discussions on various jockey-related topics started with ‘Jockey training Worldwide and Prevention of Racing Accidents.’ The session was moderated by Derek Thomson.



An impressive panel of speakers including Marcel De Bruyne, Director of Belgium Jockey Club, Yasser Mabrouk, Head of Arabic Department, Technical Manager, ERA, Kia Schirmann, Director, German Jockey School and Chief coach for Apprentice jockeys of the Festival, Pat Buckley, Racing Director, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Richard Mullen, UAE Jockey and Festival Ambassador, shared their expertise.

preventing every accidents “but you can minimize them". The emphasis should be on training, licensing, rules, fitness and health which could probably help in number of accidents being reduced, he added. Marcel stated that by their very nature "accidents are accidental" they are not stoppable but could be avoided.

Mullen explained that accidents are part and parcel of racing, though he felt injuries were very rare in flat racing as against jump racing. “As competitors we all want to win, but there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity," he said.

Schirmann (above) felt factors like planning properly ahead of the race and walking the course beforehand can contribute to avoiding such mishaps.

Buckley (above) added that onus was the riders themselves. "The jockeys should concentrate more on the course and take extra precautions.” Mabrouk said that there is no way of

Other suggestions included improvement of the jockey equipment; Apprentice jockeys should not ride unraced horses, unification of the safety measures around the globe, further training for apprentice jockeys and medical preparedness at the stables and racecourse to attend any untoward incident.



After lunch the second session on ‘Jockeys - High Performance Athletes - At The Top’ was moderated by Gary Capewell. Panellists included Remi Bellocq, Exec. Director of the North American Racing Academy, Melissa Weatherly, Athlete Development and Industry Careers Advisor, Racing Victoria, Anna Velasquez, School Director, Puerto Rico Jockey School, UAE-based jockey and Festival Ambassador Richard Mullen and American Julie Krone (Hall of Fame jockey, Ambassador of HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival).

Krone [above] was recently appointed HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Ambassador, and kept the audience enthralled with her livley recounting of her experiences. As a jockey who started of her career racing Arabians on the Fiar circuit in Michigan and then moved to thoroughbreds, she was all praise for the Festival which has given

a wonderful opportunity for the racing industry to debate the various aspects of training, research and other allied issues. She recommended that if one wanted to be successful "you should trust your horsemanship, pay attention to smallest details and engage totally with your horse.” Mullen encouraged the audience "to never give up on their dreams and keep pursuing."

Whilst Bellocq [above] expressed that racing schools were doing a tremendous job in boosting the performance of the jockeys. "But talent is most essential in the racing field." The panel advised the jockeys to focus on the physical fitness and know what kinds of exercise suit them. They all unanimously felt that the jockeys need to be strong and they must not compromise their ambitions to become good jockeys.



The final session of the day focused on "Controlled Jockey Diet, Weight Control & Nutrition" and was moderated by Australian race caller Victoria Shaw with panelists being -Dr. George Wilson from John Moores Liverpool University, Chantal Sutherland (Highest Earner Professional Female Jockey), Xavier Ziani ( Professional Jockey and Ambassador of HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival), Acaena Amoros and Mahi Aramideh, both from Elixir London Clinic and Dr. Jamal Hout (NAET Practitioner).

general and the UAE in particular posed great dangers of dehydration for jockeys because of the weather conditions. "You have to find a suitable programme that suits your body. I'm lucky that I am light, but many jockeys struggle because of the weight." Dr. Jamal said in many jockeys, energy balance is disrupted. He suggested that one should eat food that gives them the right energy. "It's essential to eat right and do physical exercises from time to time." Dr. Wilson gave a presentation of main findings from the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival-supported research at Liverpool John Moores University. According to the findings: ‘Many jockeys have too high body fat% (14-16%) and there is scope to reduce down to lower levels (<10%) through education on nutrition.’

Sutherland [above]who had won a race at Dubai World Cup meeting in 2012, stated that it was tough for her to control weight. “After trying out various things, I found out that that yoga and weight training were best suited for my body, and this is important as each body has its own requirements and necessities."

“Fasted exercise (first thing in morning) is the most effective way to reduce body weight - then eating 5 - 6 meals and snacks a day, high in protein, low in carbohydrate and adequate healthy fats (fish oils etc.) “Jockeys do not use up a large amount of energy during a typical racing day and therefore they need to do additional structured exercise to control weight effectively” Dr. Wilson concluded.

Ziani warned that Middle East in THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


The second day began with"PR and the Media for Racing Industry Recruitment, Training and Education and Arbitration", the panel comprised Derek Thompson, TV presenter and HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival announcer, Tony Smurthwaite, Managing Editor, Racing Post, Jean Claude Allies, Paris Turf, Laura King, TV presenter, Dubai Racing and Enrico Querci, journalist and TV presenter. It was moderated by Philip Brannan who runs a public relations firm in the UK. Brannan opened by pointing out that international coverage of Arabian racing has increased tremendously, thanks greatly to HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival which has spread awareness all over the world.

Festival." Regarding role of jockeys in the media, he said that while jockeys are being interviewed "they should be honest and engaging," for which one of the jockeys quickly quipped that if they are very honest "they may not get a chance to race again!" Thomson felt that media-jockey role was "like playing tennis. You give and you take." He said that Arab racing has grown from strength to strength thanks to the fact that people love Arabian horses. The general consensus was that jockeys are generally ill prepared to face the media, with many reasons offered including lack of experience, fear, no preparation, little or no education and above all time constraints. Allies affirmed that jockeys should be available despite time constraints and King pointed out racecourses could play a vital role in this aspect. Querci, who just launched a magazine for Purebred Arabian horses under the Festival’s umbrella, highlighted the role of racing schools. "Even if a jockey has just finished five or six races, he should take time to answer the media questions and I personally feel racing schools can prepare the jockeys".

Smurthwaite [above] thanked the Festival, saying, "We have strong relations with Arab racing, enjoy covering Arab races, and all things related to HH Sheikh Mansoor

Smurthwaite advised jockeys not to be "daunted by the idea of an interview." Whilst Thomson stressed that it could even be a personality issue and training may or may not help jockeys.



The culmination of the two- day conference was a workshop conducted by Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Derek Thompson.

At the outset Ms. Sawaya thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima for " giving every single jockey present in Abu Dhabi conference today a chance to discover the world."

Ms. Sawaya promised that from henceforth a seminar will be held for trainers on how to train their jockeys. Considering there could be issues which need not be physical but psychological too, Ms. Sawaya added a “holistic approach was essential to address them." She said the Festival will seek the help of a Reiki Master to help the jockeys. She also promised that a workshop will be held before all the races for apprentice jockeys from 2017 which will be supervised by Kai Schirmann, Director, German Jockey School and head coach for HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival apprentice jockeys. Also discussed were issues revolving around weight management, how to improve jockeys' lifestyles, a special workshop for jockeys in the Morocco Conference on World Arabian Horse Racing in May next year and a seminar for trainers on how to train their jockeys.

“It was the vision of HH Sheikh Mansoor to take jockeys worldwide and help them in their endeavor to be the best in their chosen field and IFHRA was born as a result of this,” she said. Through conferences like this Ms. Sawaya said: "we can help you to grow but you should help yourselves to achieve the best." After listening to several deliberations THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE



James Owen RaCing CHAMPION ARO TRAINER 14 WINNERS fed on Baileys Horse Feeds

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HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR)

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Qader (FR) wins by over seven lengths under Australian Dylan Dunn

This year’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice (IFAHR) series ran over six races beginning in Rome as part of the highly successful 2016 World Arabian Conference in Italy. The first leg was won in impressive style by Jeong Jeonghee from South Korea on the unbeaten Urge Di Gallura. The Italian bred colt subsequently went on to win the Emirates Equestrian Federation

International Stakes Gr2PA for juveniles at the Dubai International Arabian Races meeting. The next heats were won by Daniel Scipioni (Italy) in Denmark; Ali Al Shuwaikh (Bahrain) in Poland; Emilie Goudman (Belgium) Tartastan; Evin Roman (Puerto Rico) in the UK and lastly Kersley Ramsamy (Mauritius) in France.



Above: Dylan Dunn with Victoria Shaw Below: Dunn celebrates after his win on Qader (FR)



Dunn with his trophy

As well as those winners, a further seven countries were represented: Australia, Dylan Dunn; Brazil, Dailey Milan; Cyprus, Christakis Panteli; Germany, Ester Weissmeier; Jordan, Milly Naseb; Oman, Yahya Al Hamdani; USA, Corey Mongan. Bahrain supplied Ahmed Maki as a replacement for Ali Al Shuwaikh. Despite never having ridden an Arabian before, Dylan Dunn, upheld Australian’s fine record in the contest, steering HH Sheikh Mansoor’s Qader (Munjiz) to victory. He gave the Jean de Roualle trained colt a stylish ride winning easily from the front by over seven lengths. Filling the places were Ester Weissmeier on Ameer Al Reef and Kersley Ramsamy on Snaffy, both had been stage winners.

got such an easy time out in front, when I asked him for more, I felt like I might have gone too soon because I couldn’t hear them behind me at all. "The experience I’ve got from riding overseas with the Festival I can take back to Melbourne and hopefully get more winners out of it. I’ve ridden nearly 130 winners now and I’ve had a lot of support from David Hayes, Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes at home and I think that it has really come out in my riding.”

Afterwards a delighted Dunn said. “I THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE





RB Dixie Burning (US) with Catherine Walton and trainer Eric Lemartinel

Also run over a mile was the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) Final. The Ladies Championship had been more extensive, running to 14 stages beginning in Oman in January which was won by Jhannah Stolt (Sweden). The 13 other winners as follows: Australia, Cindy Klinkenberg (Netherlands), Switzerland, Anna van den Troost (Belgium), USA, Sara Vermeersch (Belgium), Bahrain, Alice Mills (UK), France, Yasmine Nilson

(Sweden), Morocco, Ingrid Grard (France), Italy, Astrid Wullschleger (Switzerland), Sweden, Nora Looby (Ireland), Netherlands, Silja Storen (Norway), USA, Manuela Slamanig (Austria), Belgium, Catherine Walton (UK), UK, Monique Luebcke (Germany) and Poland, Joanna Wyrzyk (Poland) Owing to her horse being withdrawn in the paddock in the UK, Nanako Fujita of Japan also got to ride in the Final.



RB Dixie Burning (US) and Catherine Walton are led to the track by Tadhg O'Shea and come home in front to win by a length and a quarter



The race also provided another easy winner, this time for Eric Lemartinel and HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with RB Dixie Burning ridden by the UK’s Catherine Walton. Despite being drawn wide in stall 11, Walton and her mount travelled well throughout and readily drew clear entering the home straight, easily holding the fast finishing Babel D’Aillias and Cindy Klinenberg at bay.

Walton was full of praise for her mount afterwards saying. “I got a good lead into the race and a nice tow around the bend. She’s a nice filly, I wasn’t hard on her at all, it was just hands and heels just keeping her up to her work. I’d love to be back again next year to defend my title as it has been a fantastic experience, but I’ll be back to work in England tomorrow!”

Lemartinel, who had trained the winner of last year’s Ladies World Championship for patron HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also trained the third, RB Burning Ash, ridden by Astrid Wullschleger, the outgoing Ladies Champion.

HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubaral Ladies World Champion (IFAHR) 2016 Catherine Walton and her trophy THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE





RB Burn (US) and Gerald Avranche keep Mabrooka (FR) at bay

Naturally the highlight of the six race card at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club was the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Jewel Crown – the world’s richest Arabian horse race at 1.2 million Euros. With a full field of 16 runners featuring 11 individual Group 1 winners and the world’s highest ever rated Arabian racehorse, the Jewel Crown looked every bit as good on paper as a race of its’ value should be.

The other notable contenders included last years’ winner Kalino from Qatar and the Dubai Kahayla Classic winner AF Mathmoon, plus fellow multiple Group 1 winners Thakif and Mabrooka. Three runners from the US were headed by dual Triple Jewel winner Paddy’s Day and Thess Is Awesome, who had won the newly instigated HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Awards Stakes at Santa Anita.



RB Burn (US) in the paddock

Whilst most considered it a foregone conclusion that the field would be running for second place behind the recent World Cup winner, Al Mourtajez, there are no certainties in racing. Though prominent, Thomas Fourcy’s top rated charge never appeared to be travelling with his usual fluency and when they entered the home straight and Julien Auge asked for more, his trademark turn of foot was lacking. The talented, but wayward Thakif, who had thrown away Kahayla Classic glory in March, had set a strong gallop in front, but he was readily passed at the 200m mark by RB Burn

and Gerald Avranche. Avranche had made the most of his excellent draw getting a good early position behind the leaders and was perfectly poised to strike, so with Thakif and Al Mourtajez fading, the race was his. This was RB Burn’s UAE debut and he ran on well, keeping the fast finishing fillies, Mabrooka, Sylvine Al Maury and last year’s second Sahabba, at bay. The four-year old son of Majd Al Arab, who runs in the colours of HE Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has clearly thrived since joining Lemartinel and had been ridden daily throughout his preparation by Avranche.



RB Burn (US) and Gerald Avranche going to post and celebrating on their return



Avranche and RB Burn (US) return to the winner's circle

Lemartinel credited the application of first time blinkers in helping the horse to focus, having studied his previous runs in France. He continued. “We had a good draw and when I saw at halfway that Al Mourtajez was not travelling, I thought we just have Thakif to beat. We always expect to win, otherwise you would never race a horse, but I don’t know him that well. He has been working with my other runner Abhar, which was a good guide; as for his next race, he is only four and may well go to the Kahayla Classic in March.” Avranche was also grateful for the blinkers saying. “It was a fast track and we went fast today. I could see that it was not easy for Al Mourtajez on my outside and with Thakif in front, I didn’t have to ask him too soon. I travelled so

nicely into the bend, but I didn’t want to take the lead too early because I saw the video of his runs in France and he is cheeky, going to the left and to the right. But I then I have no lead, so I have no choice but to go on, he ran on well.” The significance of RB Burn’s win was not lost on American Kathy Smoke of the Arabian Jockey Club who cheered them home saying. “We’re excited the American bred horses are now undefeated in this race. Two years, two American breds, both out of Florida. The first one, Kalino, bred by Trackside Farm and RB Burn is bred by Dianne Walrdon. It’s a pretty big deal to beat the highest rated Arabian when he’s on 134. I think the American bred horses like this track!"



Ms Lara Sawaya with the winning connections and their trophies

Smoke continued.“Al Asayl has been buying a number of horses from Dianne, who is crossing the US breds with the French bloodlines. It is amazing there were six US breds in the Jewel Crown and five in the Ladies race, which was also won by a filly that Dianne bred. I would hope that this win will boost interest in Arabian racing in America. Our horses can do well worldwide, they’re not just for the dirt ovals, they’re competitive on a world stage and that’s huge.”

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Festival Focus ERIC LEMARTINEL & AL ASAYL Jewel Crown Winners

Eric Lemartinel with the 2016 Jewel Crown Trainers Trophy

During the draw for the three races earlier in the week, Festival Executive Director Lara Sawaya had praised UAE trainer Eric Lemartinel for providing a total of nine runners in the HH Sheikha Fatima races, as well as two in the Jewel Crown and it proved to be an exciting night for him and the Al Asayl team.

Born into a farming family in Le Perche, in North Western France, Jewel Crown winning trainer Eric Lemartinel always wanted to be a jockey. Following an apprenticeship with Jacques de Chevigny, he rode more than 150 winners over jumps, with wins including the Grand Steeplechase de Waregem, the Prix Robert de



Clermont-Tonnerre (Gr3) and the Grand Crosse de Pau. He trained Thoroughbreds, AQPS [Autre Que Pur Sang or Non-Thouroughbreds] and Anglo-Arabians for Flat and Jumps for fifteen years in the provinces and in Paris. The move to train in the UAE came when Jean-Pierre Totain suggested he apply for the position at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club in 2006, which was when his career with Arabians began. In 2008 he trained Mizzna to win the Kahayla Classic, lowering the colours of three-time winner, Madjani, in the process. Al Asayl, derived from the Arabic ‘aseel’ or purebred, is an equine oasis located in the middle of the desert around 25 miles from Abu Dhabi. Established in 1991 by HH the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it has flourished through the initiatives pursued by HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. The

facilities encompass both training and breeding operations, with a mile round training track and extensive trails, a treadmill, two equine pools (round and straight) and an equine spa, as well as an on-site veterinary clinic. Al Asayl has produced many champions in both the Emirates and Europe, winning the Kahayla Classic three times with Magic De Piboul (2001), Fryvolous (2009) and Seraphin Du Paon (2011). Alongside, Al Awal Stud stands seven stallions, whilst dual UK Gr1PA winner Sir Bani Yas has recently retired to stand in France at Haras Du Thouars. How long have you been at Al Asayl? Since July 2015, before then I was at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club for nine years. When I visited Al Asayl for the first time, I said to myself ‘Wow, if you don’t train a winner here, it’s time to change your job!’

Three year old fillies on the training track THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Lemartinel supervising the fillies at exercise

How many horses do you have in your care? 65 Arabians and one Thoroughbred. At the moment we have sixteen two year olds to break and will start next week, though we have some in France as well, maybe 30. I will start them now and get them ready for next year. If they can run at three, then they run, but sometimes you have to wait, if they don’t go easily at that level, then you have to drop down again, until they understand what you want from them. When a horse is going easy with another horse, then next time I will improve the quality of older horse it works with. With younger horses, they are growing, so you need to be patient. RB Burn won on his juvenile debut in the USA over 1200m, before being exported to France to run in His Highness’ colours, was this race always the aim for him this season?

The moment RB Burn arrived with me in August, I started to focus on this race. I go slowly, as he has to get used to the weather, and after the race in Chantilly [Qatar Arabian Derby] he had been coughing, so when he was in quarantine, we treated him for that too. He didn’t take long to settle in and he always eats well. To begin with, I put him on the treadmill for ten minutes each day, just to walk slowly, to strengthen up. He gained 20 kilos, putting on more muscle. He is a very easy horse to train, he doesn’t pull, I don’t have to be careful that he overworks, sometimes he goes to the swimming pool, stops, and says ‘I don’t want to swim’ so we have to get behind him. I have the half-brother, RB Torch [by TH Richie], he is totally different; when I arrived last year he was difficult at the track, but now he’s more quiet, he’s not sweating every day. Burn is so relaxed, so easy.



Gerald rides him every day [above]. Tadhg had the choice to ride in the race, one day he says Abhar, the next he says Burn, but in the end he chose Abhar. They have different riding styles, I am lucky I have a good balance between Tadhg and Gerald. In the mornings Tadhg is always positive

about a horse, even if it is not very good, he will find something good to say. Gerald is always saying ‘he’s not fit’ and I say ‘don’t worry’ then in the race I put him on the horse and he wins by five lengths, and then he will say ‘oh he surprised me’ and I say, ‘not me, I know him, I see him every day!’



RB Burn finishes second in the Qatar Arabin Trophy des Poulains (Gr1PA)

RB Burn’s best race before the Jewel Crown was when he was second in Saint-Cloud last October over 2000m [Qatar Arabian Trophy des Poulains, to Muraaqib, Alsaker third]. Normally horses would then come to the UAE, but he stayed in France with Babette [Elizabeth Bernard]. It was bad, but good. Bad because he did not have the best season in France, but that was good because he did not have too many hard races before coming to me. The first race he won in France, in Bordeaux in April, was over 1400 metres and he won easily; then at Dax [Prix Damas Gr3PA], he was in an impossible position in the rear, but still finished well [to be third to Alsaker]. After that race the riding instructions were changed to be closer to the pace, but at Chantilly he was drawn on the outside. In that position at Chantilly, you are better to wait and come from

behind, which he did, but he got stopped by the winner, Alsaker, inside the 500m mark, running on for fifth. Did you always feel he had the ability to be a top class horse? I followed him from the moment I started to train for Al Asayl, I watched all his races. I felt he had something special for sure, but he had been unlucky. I was thinking that blinkers, just little ones, would help. Maybe he went a little bit early today, but in a race like the Jewel Crown, when you go, you don’t look too much behind! When he ran in La Teste [Prix Cheri Bibi Gr3PA], he hung away from the whip and when the jockey changed his whip hand, he hung away again and then got beat. It’s not bad character, he just needed to focus.



Would the Kahayla Classic be on the agenda for him next year? I think so. For me the plan is to go, because he has the pedigree to go on the dirt. With the programme in the UAE you either stay at the mile or go up to 2200 metres, but the Kahayla is the best 2000 metre race. The last two winners have been 1400 metre horses, you have to have speed. We will see how he is, but he doesn’t look to have had a hard race. Maybe the National Day next month. Then he will have a break and be prepared for the Liwa Oasis over 1400 metres and then go for the Kahayla, the same programme I used for Mizzna. I don’t want to go to the President Cup in mid-February, as it is a long wait for the Kahayla. How does RB Burn compare to other good horses that you have trained? Like I said, he has a big stride and he has the speed to travel well in a fast run race. Today, Gerald gave him a breather in the middle of the race, after two more furlongs he could accelerate, which many horses cannot

do. With him you can wait behind and then go. This is the sign of a good horse. Mizzna was like this. She was the best. I used to ride her every morning, like Burn she was very laid back in the mornings, but in the race, whoosh! Like him, the same good turn of foot. A good mare, she could battle and was very easy to train. After her, Neishan was a good horse, very courageous. I love a front running horse, but it is hard after several races, as everybody knows that you go in front, so everybody follows you and they just wait to catch you. When you follow, you can just wait and put your head out on the line – no need to win by ten lengths, it is easier! The first time I saw Burn in the flesh, at Chantilly, he was sleeping. I think, oh ok...but now I know that is him. He is not tall, he is a small horse, but strong back end and a good long stride. What I like about Burn, is he is only four years old! So if we look after him we will have a good horse for the future.



Festival Focus CATHERINE WALTON HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Champion

Catherine Walton is an amateur jockey and works full time as a yard manager for a thoroughbred trainer in the UK. She has had over 400 rides since taking out her licence in 2006 and 119 winners. She qualified for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies

World Championship (IFAHR) by winning on her first ever ride on an Arabian in the Belgium qualifier. She jumped at the chance to ride out for Eric Lemartinel at Al Asayl prior to her big race ride and The Arabian Racehorse went along too...



Did you have ponies when you were younger?

horses, so I would flex my lunch hour to meet them and ride out then.

When I was younger, my Dad was a Master of Foxhounds for the North Tyne, up in Northumberland in the sticks, so I always rode, going to pony club and hunting with Dad. When my parents divorced, my mum remarried to Jimmy Walton, who was a permit holder and his father trained and rode, so that was my introduction to Thoroughbreds, Jimmy was still riding then too.

When did it stop being a hobby and become a job?

So I started riding out very early on and rode in my first point to point at 16. When I left school I did a modern apprenticeship in Business Administration for the National Parks for four years. I did learn a lot, but it was so frustrating to be sat in an office for most of the day. I was still riding out and riding in point-to-points. I used to work on flexi-time and where I worked wasn’t far from where we galloped the

It was a good grounding, but by the time I was 19 I wanted to do it full time so I went to work for Ferdy Murphy, he was a big successful trainer in Middleham and I was there until he went to France in 2013. About six months before he left, he said I could go and work for someone else, but still come in on schooling days, so that’s exactly what I did. I went to Mark Johnstons, it was quite factory like, but he breaks his yearling in so well, it’s all done properly, and they know their job, even first time out at the track. They’re fed well according to the work they do and they get a good long time out at exercise, over an hour. It was good there and I got a lot of experience with the yearlings.

Catherine Walton riding a Three Year Old filly by TH Richie at Al Asayl THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Eric Lemartinel and Catherine Walton

But you kept race riding? I got my amateur licence to ride under rules over jumps when I was with Ferdy and I rode quite a lot for him and various other trainers in the north of England. He used to lay the staff off in the summer, so I did one summer at Richard Hannon’s Flat yard in the south and that was fantastic. I almost didn’t want to come back. I was glad I had my amateur licence then as I rode a winner on the Flat for him at Salisbury. It was very, very different to Mark Johnston’s. I got to ride some lovely horse down there too, Paco Boy, Canford Cliffs, Dick Turpin and Harbour Watch. You’re now a Yard Manager for Micky Hammond... After Mark Johnston’s I went to Micky Hammond, it’s a mixed yard, Flat and Jumps. I’ve been there a couple of

years now. The yard is split into two, I run the top yard, with 26 stables and there’s another 45 in the main yard. Becky Smith, who is also out here and rode in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak finals last year, is in charge of the other yard. It was through Becky that I went to Micky’s. I’ve known Becky for quite a while and we had a point to pointer which we trained together. He won for us first time out, I rode him and it was brilliant. What was your experience qualifying for the HH Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship finals like? I rode in Ostend in Belgium, on a horse called Messi. It was lovely place, a lovely racecourse, a nice little track, just a round loop. I’d ridden in Ireland before, but nowhere else abroad so this was very different.



Catherine Walton riding exercise at Al Asayl



They looked after us really well. I didn’t get to meet the horse beforehand, I just helped the trainer tack him up and that was it. All he said to me was if he wants to do it he can. He did stand out as a nice looking horse though, I thought he looked a bit bigger than some of the others too. I just had to change my hands a bit, I didn’t really have to use my stick.

Mansoor Festival is doing to publicise Arabian racing and I’m really grateful for all that Lara Sawaya and the Festival have done for me and the other riders. I would definitely be interested in riding Arabians in the UK next season, if I was asked.

So you’d say your experience of Arabian racehorses was pretty positive? So far so good! I have had a lovely ride this morning at Al Asayl. I wasn’t able to ride Dixie Burning, my ride in the final, but I did get to meet her and give her a pat. I’ve never really had anything to do with Arabians before, so it’s been brilliant so far. It’s fantastic what the HH Sheikh

Catherine Walton walks the track before racing THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Festival Focus JULIE KRONE Jockey Ambassador

In a career characterised by firsts, the first female jockey to win an America Triple Crown race [1993 Belmont Stakes with Colonial Affair], the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame [2000], first to take a major title at a major North American track, first in Oak Tree history to ride five winners in one day [Oct 4 2003], first to ride a Breeders Cup winner (Halfbridled 2003], it finished on an awe inspiring 3,704 career wins, having come back from serious injury and made it on

both the East and West Coasts of America. Steve Cauthen became her inspiration when she saw him aged 18 win the US Triple Crown on Affirmed in 1978 and though too young to ride Thoroughbreds on the track , she started off as a ‘hot walker’ aged 15 (though actually rode 20 winners, including Arabians on Michigan’s Fair circuit), leaving high school in her senior year to concentrate on riding.



How long have you been an Ambassador to the Festival? I’ve been involved with the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nayhan Festival now for about two months. Lara Sawaya has such energy and she just pulls everyone along with her. The venue has been perfect and the racetrack here in Abu Dhabi is wonderful. This is one of the top ten horseracing events I have ever been to, particularly now since stepping away from racing, as I now have such an a appreciation of it. What’s your view on female jockeys in the USA, as it has been very hard to progress in the UK until recently... I decided that individually [my success] really inspires people, but the bigger picture is it’s just a chink in the armour.

Realistically any girl that makes it is always going to be their own success story, other than the inspiration that I can give them, you know like Julie Krone did it or Rosie [Napravnik] did it, I don’t think I can do anymore than that. Rosie and I are so different and she used to hate that comparison in the beginning. I inspire people individually, but they have to make their own way. What’s your connection with Arabians? I was born and raised with Arabians, the first races I rode in were at the tiny fair tracks, with Arabians and thoroughbreds and quarter horses. One of my first winners was an Arabian when I was 15 years old. My mum taught circus tricks with Arabian horses and I used to do tricks on them and my half Arabian pony when I was little, so it’s like I have



come full circle, back to the Arabians again. So I’m really proud and passionate about the Festival as that’s how I started. You were one of the coaches in the Jockey Workshop on Saturday morning, what happened? The Jockey Workshop was really amazing. We had five coaches and it felt like 150 jockeys, none of us had ever worked together, so we didn’t have a plan as such. I was teaching about balance and how to stretch our more to get a better position when you reach the finish line, showing them how to really commit themselves to the physicality of the stretch and the balance required. The

other coaches were doing other interesting things about where the whip lands on the horse. I had a go on Richard Perhams’ equicizer and though I could only manage about 17 seconds as I’m retired, he said my push rate, if had continued, was at the record strength wise. It is great to share your experience, whatever level you are, so there were the younger kids and the older jockeys too, some are really fit and strong and others less so. It is hard to keep your fitness if you are only getting occasional rides, so particularly for the jockeys who are not riding all the time, it was a really valuable experience and to have that level of attention was important for them.



It was clearly so inspiring for the ones who lacked strength, they really wanted to get stronger after seeing what the others could do. You can’t always be on the winner, so if you’re on slow horse and you’re still learning, aim to be fifth instead of seventh. It took me the whole night to absorb and to sort out in my own mind, all the information that I would like share the next time we do this workshop. We all worked really well together and it was so nice because you really feel that we’re here to encourage all the jockeys to improve.

Definitely, the uniqueness of this whole atmosphere, it magnifies it and also because of the sharing and being able to inspire the next group of girls. What Lara has done is amazing. With grateful thanks to Julie Krone for her photos.

We did three one hour sessions and you could see them all when they left the room that they walked away with so much satisfaction. Do you think the Festival impacts on female jockeys worldwide?

Julie Krone with fellow Jockey Ambassador Richie Mullen



Festival Focus RYAN COLLEY IFHRA Scholarship Winner

It has been an exciting year for the UK’s Ryan Colley, he was one of the first of 12 nominated recipients of the Racing Scholarship Fund established by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival to take his overseas placement, which has helped him gain further experience on his chosen career path. The Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF), was inaugurated in November 2015 following the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) general assembly meeting in Abu Dhabi as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival sponsored conference on Education and Training

for Jockeys. It is the first of its kind to help promising young talent, (employed as an amateur jockey, apprentice jockey, or within the industry as a whole) benefit from the mentoring scheme aimed to stimulate career development and progression. Ryan Colley, who graduated from Doncaster’s Northern Racing College (NRC) is currently assistant to Thoroughbred trainer Ruth Carr in North Yorkshire and is keen to pursue a career in Racing Administration. In January he went to Lexington, Kentucky, to study the work of raceday officials, in particular the role of the starter and his team.



Prior to his placement Colley said. “I’m really excited. It’s my first visit to America, and I am looking forward to seeing how their racing system operates. I’m told it is very different from ours, so this is a fantastic opportunity to see it first hand. “Having been a stable lad and ridden as an amateur, it will be fascinating to learn new skills from the racing officials’ side. I’ll also be spending two days in Dallas, taking a certificate in starting procedures, which will be a useful addition to my CV.” Standing at over 1.8m tall, Colley, who had never ridden before he attended the NRC course, rode two winners from eight rides as an amateur and now aims to develop his career out of the saddle to become a raceday official. “My ambition is to become a starter in the UK and my experience America could provide me with a

valuable foot in the door,” He said. NRC Chief Executive Stephen Padgett commented. “The scholarships are a tremendous new initiative and, as one of the first to be awarded, this is a great opportunity for Ryan, who will be an excellent ambassador for the College. We look forward to hearing about his experiences.” Speaking with Colley in June, following a HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival sponsored meeting at Hereford where he had been acting as assistant starter, he said. “The IFHRA scholarship was very good, it took me to Kentucky, where I was working at the Lexington training centre where we school horses in the morning through the gates. It’s a very different procedure to the UK - they have to have a ‘gate Ok card’ before they can run.

Ryan Colley in the Weighing Room at Chelmsford City before racing THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


He continued. “In the afternoon I was at the Jockey Club, going through the rules and regulations with Kathy O’Meara and then at the weekends, heading up to Turfway Park, Cincinnati and observing the starts there during racing, which was all a very good experience. Then I spent two days in Dallas for the Racing Officials Accreditation programme which was very interesting; I gained my certificate, which will look great on my CV and I hope will be useful over here.

September. I’ve been down at York and Ainstey South and a couple of other hunt point-to-points to do starting there – I’m just doing as much voluntary work as I can to gain as much experience as possible.” At Chelmsford for the ARO Season Finale, he was the official starter for the 9 race card, which had 85 runners, including 73 Purebred Arabians, and was assisted by British Horseracing Authority starter Peter Haynes. Haynes has been mentoring Colley, training him in UK procedures, both at ARO meetings and allowing Colley to shadow him at BHA fixtures too. Following this Colley was then invited out to Abu Dhabi for this years’ Conference on Education and Training and to witness the Jewel Crown meeting. He describes his experience enthusiastically saying. “I owe a big thank you to Mr Haynes and also to the Northern Racing College for putting me forward for the IFHRA Scholarship. The time I spent in Kentucky has been a priceless experience. Another big thank you to Remi Bellocq for his incredible work organising everything for my scholarship.

Ryan Colley and Peter Haynes at Chelmsford City

Colley concluded saying. “Since I have returned to the UK I have been volunteering with ARO, I was at Chelmsford in April, I’ve been here today and I’ve got two more dates as a starter, rather than assistant starter, including the ARO Season Finale and Sultanate of Oman Raceday on 25

Colley starting at Hereford



He ended saying. “Of course none of this would have been possible without Lara Sawaya and the vision of HH Sheikh Mansoor. The IFHRA scholarship was fantastic – there was no way I could have gained this amount of experience so quickly without it and the opportunity to go to America and gain a completely different perspective on racing and starting operations was invaluable. I think the scholarship definitely helped me get these days with ARO and the point to points. I am looking forward to next season, working as many ARO fixtures as I can and fingers crossed one day for the BHA.” Speaking at last year's conference Ms Lara Sawaya, Chairperson of IFHRA and Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival, explained the initiative and thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential affairs, for

his innovative initiative in evolving a plan to train and fund young riders and staff. “The IFHRA Racing Scholarship Fund is designed to benefit both students of IFHRA member racing academies and employers within horse racing and related industries. Students will work abroad in real-world situations gaining experience and benefitting from mentorships which will help their career progression. At the same time, future employers will also benefit from IFHRA RSF students who have experience and gained training in the newest practices our industry has to offer.” She added, "The goal is to improve the horse racing and breeding industry workforce by providing deserving racing academy students or recent graduates with the opportunity to gain new training and experience in racing and related disciplines, while learning about new cultures and customs.”

Colley checking girths at Chelmsford City THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Festival Focus ALICE MILLS Women of the Future Nominee

Alice Mills in the parade ring in Abu Dhabi

Twenty nine year old professional jockey Alice Mills embraces every opportunity offered to her with enthusiasm, whether it be riding in abroad or taking part in a charity boxing match. She has represented her country in various disciplines from an early age and was recently shortlisted for a prestigous Women of the Future Award. Did you ride from an early age? All my life, both my parents race rode. My mum was very good jockey, I’ve

got a few more winners to go to catch her up, but I’m working on it! I did a lot of Pony Club activities, particularly Tetrathlon, I was on the UK team and competed abroad doing that, it’s running, swimming, shooting and riding. I been lucky that I‘ve always ridden a lot of different horses, mum and I had a small yard and we bred and produced for eventing, so I think that has helped my career as once I went into racing it wasn’t alien to me to get on a new horse and figure it out and ride it.



You turned professional last June and you’re the only UK lady professional with a dual licence, how do the disciplines differ? Riding on the flat makes you a lot sharper, you think you’re going fast over jumps until you get on the Flat and you realise the difference! I actually really enjoy going jumping as it’s slower and I can use the experience gained on the Flat to help my riding over jumps. The jump racing is where my roots are, but I really enjoy riding on the Flat as it’s a different style of riding. My weight means that I’m better suited to the Flat now, but I have a dual licence so I can carry on with the jumping. I’m really lucky, as it’s tough, when I turned Professional I had to prove that there was going to be a demand for my services as a jockey. You’ve just enjoyed a brief period working in the US... I’ve been riding in America over jumps for nine times Champion Steeplechase trainer Jack Bishop – it was a great opportunity. I went out in the end of September for the Autumn season. My first ride was in a Grade 1 event, which I would never get to do in the UK and at the second meeting I rode, I had my first winner there, so it’s been really good as it’s very, very different to UK jump racing. They have timber racing, though not as big as the Maryland Hunt Cup, which I was lucky enough to ride in a few years back. The regular jump racing has fences that are bigger than a British hurdle but smaller than a fence. They roll them on to the track, they are not

fixed. The timber fences do break if you hit them hard enough, but it is a different riding style. This isn’t your first experience riding Purebred Arabians is it? My first time was when I was invited to ride in the HH Sheikha Fatima race in 2013 in Poland, where I finished about fifth or sixth. I also rode at Newbury that year in a Wathba Stud Farm Cup Premier Handicap finishing in about the same position, but that was through my agent in England who got me the ride. Tell me about winning the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies race in Bahrain this year... I absolutely loved Bahrain, it was an amazing experience to ride out there. I was actually coming back from an injury having been off for around six weeks. I was only just contemplating race riding again when the opportunity came up, so I was glad that I had been getting back to race fitness before I went out. Riding for Alan Smith was fantastic. He has a great sense of humour! I went down to his yard the day before the race to meet him and had a look round. He was really helpful, he told me plenty about the horse, so I knew what to expect and we had a good plan. The horse broke nicely and it was a real nice tough little horse. The track was really good, the turf was amazing considering it is such a hot country, they do a great job there. It’s a fabulous course with a nice long straight, it rides really well.



They’re not used to having lady jockeys but since [UK apprentice] Rosie Jessop [below winning at Newmarket] has been riding out there in the winter, they have made her, her own jockeys room, so we got to use it, there are pictures of her in there too. It was great as they really embraced having her there, which meant they were really delighted to have us use the room as well. I think if they could continue to have more lady jockeys there it would be a positive step.

You’ve been to the HH Sheikha Fatima Finals before... In November 2013, after I had ridden in Poland, but this was the first time I have ridden here. When I walked the course I thought it was really nice, they have done well with plenty of grass on the track. We are really well looked after on these trips. I love meeting all the new people, it’s just great fun. I always try to experience a bit of the country that we visit if there’s time. The girls are all great too, you get to meet so many different people here now. It was really exciting to be out in Abu Dhabi again. I really enjoyed it and at least I knew what to expect this time. I’m so grateful to Lara Sawaya and to HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for the opportunity.

Tell me what you thought about the Education and Training conference... The conference was amazing, it's great to see how it has grown since I was here a few years ago. It was very much in its infancy then. I have a keen interest in nutrition and diet and I have been following the John Moores study from its early days anyway, so it was really fascinating to see it presented. I take an interest in the media side too, as I do think it’s really important and it can be really difficult part of being a jockey. The diversity of countries now involved in the apprentice race for example is great. I hope it keeps growing and I understand that there will be more workshops for all the jockeys next year, not just the apprentices. This will be particularly useful for the lady amateurs because they lack the opportunity to get this kind of training with top class coaches - they certainly wouldn’t get it at home. They wouldn’t even get coaching on their riding, let alone nutrition or the media, so for them the more you can learn about the whole thing the better. What really excites me is that we are all referred to as athletes. From my very early days of riding it used to frustrate me that jockeys didn’t see themselves as athletes, but now it is different and I think it is a really positive step forward which help our sport progress on the wider stage. The HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival now supports the Women of the Future Awards, how did you feel when you learned of your nomination in the Sport category?



Mills waiting for the jockeys briefing in Abu Dhabi

I still haven’t quite got my head around the Women of the Future Awards, it was not something that I expected to happen at all. I was extremely excited to get the nomination, but to then get on the shortlist was absolutely brilliant. I think the winner, Danielle Brown, is amazing. She is a double Paralympic Gold Medalist, a three-time World Champion, who had been the world number one in her sport of archery for her entire career. To be considered alongside athletes of that calibre made me feel really proud. Through these awards also I’ve been invited to a talk at the Foreign and Common Wealth Office in London to do with women and equality which will be interesting. Do you think things are changing for women in horseracing now? I think particularly on the Flat, they are becoming more accepted because of

the weight issue. The girls can do the weight, they work really hard at their fitness, going to the gym so they can ride at full strength. We’ve got some good fit girls. When you look at someone like Josephine Gordon (who won the 2016 UK Flat Apprentice title for Thoroughbred racing), who I used to work with before she started riding as a jockey, she has an amazing attitude towards work and has always been a good rider. She has achieved a phenomenal amount. Jump racing is slowly getting there, but even when I took out my professional licence, the other girls riding all have a family connection to support them with rides. Those boundaries are starting to come down now and there are some really good horsewomen out there who are now getting chances to prove themselves.



I had to make my own opportunities to ride, as though we had a few horses at home, it is not the same as being a trainer’s daughter, or having very wealthy parents, who can help get you going and keep you going. Because of this I never considered being a professional jockey for a very long time. I never set out to break down any barriers, I just wanted to race, as I enjoyed it so much, taking whatever chances came my way. That’s why I love the international races as give you an experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have. When I first started riding in professional races I was very conscious that I was an amateur, and not only that, I was a lady amateur too. But I actually found once I was riding against the professionals more regularly, I became accepted. So now when I turn up to ride in races, I don’t

feel any different, or feel that I am treated differently, but it would be good to see more girls riding. You seem quite committed to educating young people about the sport... I live in Taunton and go to local pony clubs to do talks about being a jockey and being a lady jockey as well. I take my equicizer and its fun to give the kids an insight in to what it actually entails and to give them other options to consider in the horse world. There have since been a couple of them that have gone onto take out their point to point licences, which is a really nice feeling too give them the confidence to give it a go. Even if they don’t want to be jockeys, I can teach them about the other

Mills with trainer Alan Smith after winning in Bahrain THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


opportunities in the racing industry which could be open to them. We are struggling with staff a bit in the UK, but compared to other equestrian disciplines we are so far ahead in terms of how our staff are looked after. We have a union and a national pay scale, which in show jumping or eventing just doesn’t exist. There’s a lot of structure in racing with NVQ’s and other qualifications and a career ladder which doesn’t require you to be a competitive rider. And where does the boxing fit in? I started boxing to raise money for Cancer Research and liked it so much I’m hoping to have another semiprofessional fight soon. I have found the training really complimentary. The level of fitness required for race riding should never be underestimated, but the boxing has given it a whole new dimension as well as it being a change in activity. I’ve really improved my muscle density. I do a lot of weight training anyway because I need to be strong, but it has been noticeable how my body shape has changed because of the boxing training, it’s been really good. The Injured Jockeys Fund has helped me a lot in my career, we’re lucky to have them in the UK. I don’t think I would have been able to sustain myself race riding after the nasty fall I had at Cheltenham without them, and they help so many people, so my next fundraiser will be for them.

obviously, and cross country races, which I have experienced in France and Germany, so the Pardubice in the Czech Republic would be on the list too. I have ridden over hurdles there and I walked the course whilst I was there. That’s a really challenging track, because it’s difficult for the horses to read, so you need a horse that really trusts you. I would I think my eventing background helps with that though. I would most love to ride at St Moritz on the snow. It’s just one of those things that is so different, I’d love that experience, the HH Sheikha Fatima series goes there, so who knows?

Mills in the paddock before the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) Final

As for your ambitions race riding... I would like to race on the beach, in Spain or Ireland, purely because of its unique quality. The Grand National THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE



Dist: 1.25, 3.25

13-11-2016 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championships (IFAHR) Final 4+ (40-75) 1600m Good 1. QADER (FR) 4 gr c Munjiz (FR) Fazzaha (FR) T: Jean de Roualle O: HE Sheikh Mansoor bn Zayed Al Nahyan B: HE Sheikh Mansoor bn Zayed Al Nahyan J: Dylan Dunn (Australia)

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown Gr1PA 4+ 1600m Good 1. RB BURN (US) 4 gr c Majd Al Arab (GB) - Burning Gee PW (US)

2. AMEER AL REEF (AE) 7 b h Bibi De Carrere (FR) - Ashaaya D'Aroco (FR)

T: Eric Lemartinel

3. SNAFFY (FR) 4 b c Dormane (FR) RW Norwegian Star (US)

B: Diane Waldron

Dist: 7.25, 1.75

O: HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan J: Gerald Avranche

2. MABROOKA (FR) 4 ch f Mahabb (AE) - Shamayl (FR) 3. SYLVINE AL MAURY (FR) 5 b m Munjiz (FR) - Savavit Al Maury (FR) Dist: 0.75, Nk, Time: 1.40.44

HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championships (IFAHR) Final 4+ (40-75) 1600m Good 1. RB DIXIE BURNING (US) 6 b m Burning Sand (US) - Dixies Delight (US) T: Eric Lemartinel O: HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan B: Diane Waldron J: Catherine Walton (Great Britain)

2. BABEL D'AILLAS (FR) 5 gr h Dahess (GB) - Ozana D'Aillas (FR) 3. RB BURNING ASH (US) 5 b g Burning Sand (US) - Ashton Rose (US) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE




R A C E H O R S E April 2015

Issue No.




HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards Hollywood 2015

Issue No.5

3rd July 2015


Issue No.6

25th July 2015



Issue No.8

September 2015




Issue No. 10

November 2015







DIAR Prep Races

Dubai International Arabian Races Preview Edition

Sultanate of Oman Raceday

Abu Dhabi 2015

Ton Up for Steve Harrison at Hereford

Jewel Crown

UK Season Preview Part II

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