MUSCAT His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said on Tuesday presided over the Annual Royal Horse Race Festival, being organised by the Royal Court Affairs (RCA), represented by the Royal Cavalry.
The race at the Madinat Al Adiyat race course in the Wilayat of Seeb was attended by several Their Highnesses, chairmen of the State and Shura Councils, ministers, advisers, commanders of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF), Royal Oman Police (ROP), members of the State and Shura Councils, undersecretaries, heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to the Sultanate, members of the judicial authority and senior military and civil
The festival kicked off with His Majesty arriving to the Royal anthem played by the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO). The six-round race included five for pure Arabian horses and one for thoroughbreds.
In the first round ‘Race of Governorate of Muscat,’ for pure Arabian (1,100 metres), Anas Bin Salim Al Siyabi on ‘Vazs Mane Son’ of the Royal Cavalry came first. Al Mu’atasim Bin Said Al Balushi on ‘Atheer’ owned by the Royal Cavalry won the second place and Hamad Bin Mubarak Al Wahibi on ‘Qadeer’ of Royal Cavalry finished third.
In the second round ‘Race of Governorate of Musandam’, for thoroughbreds (1,600 metres), Asa’ad Bin Ali Al Siyabi on ‘Zain Shamardal’ of the Royal Cavalry took the top honours. Yassir Bin Jumayyil Al Sunaidi on ‘Atlantic Brave’ of the Royal Cavalry came second and ‘Emirates Roadshow’ owned by Faisal Bin Abdullah Al Mazro’ei came third.
In the third round ‘Race of Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah’, for pure Arabian (1,600 metres), allocated for the horses that topped the rankings in the races of season 2012-13), Hamoud Bin Hamad Al Hajri on ‘Motsho Bello’ owned by Mohammed Bin Saud Al Khalili won the top spot.
Aamir Bin Salim Al Ghunaimi on ‘Chainactic’ owned by Mahboob Bin Mohammed Hashmani came second, Mahir Bin Juma Al Balushi on ‘Chriss SWA’ owned by Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Khasrozman finished third.
The fourth round ‘Race of Governorate of Dhofar, for pure Arabian horses (1,600 metres) was competed by amateur jockeys from around the world for the Fegentri Cup. Raoul Dygas on ‘Djoulla’ owned by the Royal Cavalry came first, while Jamie Flein on ‘Sakari’ of the Royal Cavalry finished second and, Ahmed Bin Saif Al Hadhrami on ‘Wathiq’ of the Royal Cavalry ended third.
In the fifth round ‘Race of Governorate of North Al Batinah’, for pure Arabian horses (1,100 metres), Fahd Bin Omar Al Rahbi on ‘Hasheemah’ of the Royal Cavalry came first. Azhar Bin Saif Al Wardiyah on ‘Al Kashif’ of the Royal Cavalry won the second spot and Hamoud Bin Hamad Al Hasani, on ‘Al Awam’ of the Royal finished third.
Husni Bin Mubarak Al Hajri on ‘Al Ashram’ of the ROP won the sixth and last round ‘Race of Hisn Al Shomoukh’ for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s Cup.
‘Vizi Des Cedres’ of the Royal Cavalry came second in the event held for pure Arabian and run for 2,000 metres. Anas Bin Salim Al Siyabi on ‘Kiram’ of the Royal Cavalry came third.
Various shows were also staged during the festival.
Canon dragging and equestrian skill shows gathered the attention, while horse beauty show of the new horses at the Royal Cavalry thrilled the audience.
International teams specialised in equestrian show like Piaf Trio Team from Holland and the French team, which won the World Vaulting Cup, also staged their skills with vaulting and disabled equestrian shows.
At the end of the festival, the participating teams formed the concluding plateau and His Majesty handed over His Majesty’s Cup to Husni Bin Mubarak Al Hajri, the winner of the sixth round, and the prizes for winners of the top places in other rounds. The Royal anthem marked the conclusion of the festival.
Nasr Bin Hamoud Al Kindi, the Secretary General of the Royal Court Affairs, said the Royal Cavalry enjoys the interest and care from His Majesty. This enables the team to improve its performance every year, he said.
The excellent performance of the men and women riders of the Royal Cavalry in the Annual Royal Festival is a proof of the special care, he said. Al Kindi said His Majesty is keen on preserving the authentic cultural heritage of horse races, riders and traditional races. The domestic and international participations in the Annual Royal Horse Race Festival is part of this interest, he said.
On the achievements of the Royal Cavalry horses in the regional and international races, Al Kindi said the achievements made by the Royal Cavalry, by horse riders or horses, are the result of His Majesty’s interest in the Royal Cavalry to participate at local, regional and international races to achieve significant results for the Sultanate.
He said that the results of those participations were great, especially in 2012 which saw a bronze medal in the World Endurance Horse Race. And in races held in Britain, France and some other Gulf States, the Royal Cavalry achieved top three positions. He said these record shows the capability of Omani jockeys and Omani horses that are of domestic breeding and compete in international races.
As many as 3,863 participants attended in the festival including 1,285 students, in addition to 842 horses and 60 other animals. A number of traditional horse races like Hambal, Al Tahuwarib and Razha were performed at the festival.
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