Hall of Fame jockeys Mike Smith, Gary Stevens and Laffit Pincay Jr. were on hand on Saturday to accept a donation made on behalf of the Permanently disabled="disabled"="disabled="disabled"" Jockeys Fund (PDJF) for $150,000 courtesy of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Santa Anita Park.
The cheque presentation took place in a Winner’s Circle ceremony prior to the running of the Grade I, $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes.
Mike Smith, Gary Stevens and Laffit Pincay Jr. accepted the cheque with a number of Santa Anita jockeys looking on, from HE Abdulla Al Subose, UAE Consul General in Los Angeles, 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), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees and Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool.
In addition to promoting the Arabian breed throughout the world, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival is dedicated to celebrating jockeys as some of the finest professional athletes in any sport.
“We thanks HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs who has always ensured that welfare of sportspersons is uppermost. Jockeys are one of the most hard working and highly skilled athletes and we are happy to be supporting their cause, especially when they are injured when plying their trade,” said Ms. Sawaya.
“Santa Anita Park is delighted to partner with the Sheikh Mansoor Festival in making this donation to such a worthy cause,” said Keith Brackpool, Chairman, Santa Anita Park. “This is a relationship that will help to bring international focus to Santa Anita and will benefit the world class athletes that make our sport unlike any other.”
HE Aref Al Awani representing Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Mussallam Al Amri of Al Jazira Stables Two and ADEC Director General Adnan Sultan and other representatives of the Festival’s sponsors were also present during the presentation.
Founded in 2006, the PDJF currently provides financial assistance to 60 former jockeys who are permanently disabled="disabled"="disabled="disabled"" as a result of on-track injuries. Since its founding, the PDJF has disbursed over $7 million to disabled="disabled"="disabled="disabled"" riders.
The mission of the PDJF is to promote awareness of the needs of permanently disabled="disabled"="disabled="disabled"" jockeys through public advocacy; to provide financial support to permanently disabled="disabled"="disabled="disabled"" jockeys to help defray everyday expenses associated with living with a catastrophic injury; to provide financial support and assistance in obtaining medical coverage for permanently disabled="disabled"="disabled="disabled"" jockeys; and to promote medical research dedicated to reducing catastrophic injuries within the horse racing industry.
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, 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, 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.