Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oman: HM presides over Royal Horse Race Festival

MUSCAT — His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said presided over the annual Royal Horse Race Festival at Al Adiat horse race track, in the wilayat of Seeb yesterday.

The festival was attended, along with His Majesty the Sultan, by members of the royal family, the chairmen of the State Council and Majlis Al Shura, ministers, advisers, members of the State Council and Majlis Al Shura, undersecretaries and members of the diplomatic corps in the Sultanate.

The festival began with the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan, when the Royal Anthem was played.

The festival included interesting shows for military procession, carriages, girl jockeys’ march and trotters, in addition to speed riding and rodeo sport.

After this, the horse race for His Majesty the Sultan Cup started. The race included six rounds namely, Al Akhdahar Fort for pure Arabian horses for 1,800 metres; Al Bustan Fort for pure Arabian horses for female riders for 1,100 metres; Al Shariq Fort for thoroughbred horses for 1,600 metres; Al Khandaq Fort for pure Arabian horses for 1,100 metres; Jibreen Fort for pure Arabian horses for 1,600 metres and Shamoukh Fort for pure Arabian horses for 2,100 metres.

The six rounds of the race included polo shows for male, female and young riders; beauty display of horse and young camels; foals for horses and other breeds shows; razha and music carriage show and endurance race show.

There were displays for horse-riding skills, fun race, carriage-riding by children, tent-pegging, hurdle race for children in addition to displays for sword, javelin, tent-pegging skills and arrow-shooting from a fast-moving carriage and cavalry display for the Olympic trilateral.

The festival also included a display for carriage race, common horse march, a carriage dragged by 20 horses, young foals programme at the grass field followed by the final plateau for the festival.

After this, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said handed over His Majesty’s Cup for the first winner of the sixth round of the Al Shamoukh Fort for pure Arabian horses and prizes for the first winners of the other rounds.

After this, the Royal Anthem was played signalling the conclusion of the horse race and then His Majesty the Sultan left the horse race track.

Around 2,533 participants took part at the festival, including 967 students and trotters in addition to 837 horses.

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