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SHEIKH MANSOOR FESTIVAL NEWS
Young Belgian steals limelight, Festival returns to historic Hoppengarten in Berlin

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival returned after four years to the historic Hoppengarten race course in Berlin on Wednesday, July 26 to stage the fourth round of this year’s HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race.

And a young 16-year-old Apprentice jockey from Belgium, Loid Bekaert, stole the limelight when he scored an emphatic win in the 2200-metre race on Le Jason, a four-year-old trained by R. Zoetelief.
 
Bekaert, who received his Apprentice license just over a month ago, grabbed the opportunity with both hands as Le Jason scored an easy win over Adash under Kersley Ramsamy of Mauritius while Bahrain’s Ali Sameer on Arash finished third.
 
Seven apprentice riders from around the world took part in the 11-furlong race with a prize fund of Euros 20,000 and Bekaert and his horse La Jason won in a timing of 2:44.93.
 
The young Belgian is the fourth jockey to qualify for the Apprentice World Champion ship final this year in this race series which is being held as part of the Festival under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE and Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
 
Sayed Abdel Rahman Al Shamsi, Chargé d'Affaires at the UAE Embassy in Berlin, Saed Al Shehhi, Head of the Political Department, Talab Al Habsi and Hassan Al Shehhi, Assistant Military Attaché, and the Chargé d'affaires respectively, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of 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) attended the prize distribution and gave away the trophies.
 
Al Shamsi said that organizing the Festival in different countries reflects the civilized face of the UAE and promotes the values of tolerance among peoples. He stressed that Arabian horses always find support and attention from the UAE as part of their heritage.
 
"The return of the Festival to Germany is another success in achieving the desired goals of the interest of the German people who love equestrian sport, especially as the event is held in one of the most prestigious tracks in the world,” he added.
 
Ms. Sawaya said, “We could not stage races here as there was a international problem in the racing body here but now since that is sorted out we are delighted to be here with our Festival’s races.”
 
“Today we saw the young Belgian winning from a strong field of experienced riders. He lived up to his reputation as a promising jockey which was the reason why he was in the starting line-up though he is just 16,” Ms. Sawaya stated.
 
Ms. Sawaya also stated that the Festival would next stage the Arabian Horse Beauty Show in Lebanon on July 29 and 30.
 
Wednesday’s race is part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which 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 Ayadi 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, 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.
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