One of the most anticipated and prominent shows of purebred Arabian horses in the United Arab Emirates took place this year from February 10 to February 13 at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. This show has a track record of more than 25 years and is historically one of the very first such shows in the UAE.
HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the championship’s benefactor as well as the chairman of Emirates Arabian Horse Society (EAHS), which organizes the majority of all UAE championships (up to 10 shows and competitions per year), and has been the sole organization overseeing the registration of purebred Arabian horses in the UAE since its establishment in 1989. The importance of this year’s Abu Dhabi Championship is evidenced by the presence of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan (EAHS vice chairman) who started off the final competitions in person and presented several awards to the winners and all the official attendees at the event.
The Abu Dhabi International Championship has long been known for its impeccable organization, pleasant atmosphere, and attractive prize pools. This year’s total prize money was close to AED 10M (over € 2.45M) and attracted more than 350 horses. They were presented to the judges over a 4 day period and the very best won championship titles at the end of the event. The championship arena was refurbished for this year’s event with decorative elements inspired by traditional UAE walled fortresses. The awards and sashes for the champions were also crafted by specific methods and presented the traditions of oriental culture. An art gallery full of works inspired by Arabian horses and falconry, as well as paintings of the royal family adorned the showgrounds. Several artists created their art in real-time at the venue itself, allowing visitors an insight into the process from the very beginning. One special event was a contest of photographers where the victor is chosen by the visitors themselves, and the 3 winners split a prize pool of AED 60K (all the winning shots can be seen at the EAHS official Instagram account emirateseahs).
Ultimately, we must not forget to mention those behind the success of the Abu Dhabi International Horse Championship – EAHS Director, Mohamed Al Harbi, and his team who take care of all the details at the event and are responsible for the hospitality provided to all the guests and competitors. They create the familial and calm atmosphere that permeates these Abu Dhabi visits.
The final competitions were opened by a traditional military band.
(right to left) Prague Intercup organizer, Jaroslav Lacina, vice chairman of EAHS, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, P. Pond, WAHO chairman (World Arabian Horse Organization), M. Al Harbi, EAHS director.
Awards for the golden champions.
Sashes for the championship winners laid out before models of traditional UAE fortresses.
Mare Al Aryam Al Yaba in motion.
Artists creating their pieces right on the showgrounds.