Arabian Racing Organisation, The Curragh

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Alison Lidderdale joins the Arabian Racing Organisation as Sponsorship and Commercial Manager

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomes Alison to the team following her appointment as Sponsorship and Commercial Manager. She will be based at the organisation’s office at Newbury Racecourse.

Lidderdale formally worked at the world renowned PR Agency Weber Shandwick (part of the Inter Public Group) and has more recently run her own business managing client campaigns in sectors that include horseracing, sports betting, transport, education, charity and digital marketing.

The appointment will see a restructure of the team at ARO with Genny Haynes stepping down from her position that has seen her at the helm for more than 10 years.

Lidderdale said: “This will be a challenging role and I will have big shoes to fill when Genny leaves at the end of February – she has achieved extraordinary things during her time and I very much hope I can continue her good works and reflect the extraordinary energy and passion she has brought to the role. I am sure I speak for all those associated with the organisation, when I say how valued her work has been.”

Lidderdale went on to express her pleasure at joining the team: “I have obviously been working and involved in the racing world for many years but I still recall my first day of Arabian Racing at Fakenham, many years ago now but it feels like yesterday. Since then I would like to think that I have acquired a suitable skill set that will see the Organisation move forward and grow in popularity. “

Lidderdale’s role will look to enhance the sponsorship offer and she will also continue to move forwards with the projects that Genny has implemented with the BHA and other industry bodies.

ARO Director Genny Haynes, said: “We are very pleased that Alison has come on board, her skill sets will I hope bring some new dimensions to the team and we all look forward to the 2018 season.

THE ROYAL CAVALRY OF OMAN HONOURED BY OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ARABIAN RACING AWARD

This afternoon at the Horserace Writers and Photographer’s Association (HWPA) Annual Derby Awards Luncheon, the Royal Calvary of Oman were honoured for their support and long-term commitment to Arabian racing with the Outstanding Achievement in Arabian Racing Award. The event which took place at the Lancaster London, is sponsored by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) and it is thanks to their involvement, that this prestigious award has been established.

The Royal Cavalry of Oman have been a supporter and sponsor of Arabian racing, both in the UK and internationally for over ten years.  The 2017 season was their best to date in the UK, finishing second in the ARO Owners Championship; with seven wins from four individual winners, their victories included two Group 1’s and a Group 2, and £118,676 in prize money. What has also significant, has been the growth of their breeding programme – producing their first ever homebred Group 1 winner, Nafees (who won the UK Arabian Derby on Doncaster St Leger day) and the Group 2 juvenile winner, Riyam.

Royal Cavalry UK Trainer, Said Al Badi, who was based in Berkshire for the summer, won the ARO Best Newcomer award and their team’s steady stream of winners and placed horses played its’ part in securing the ARO Jockeys Championship for David Turner and the ARO Novice Jockey title for Ellie Mackenzie.

Also recognised for their achievements this season were James Owen, Champion Arabian Trainer for the last two seasons; Ellie Mackenzie, Champion Novice Jockey and leading UK small owner-breeder, Heather Phillpott.

Nasser Sherida Al Kaabi said; “Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club is really proud to support for the fifth consecutive year The Horserace Writers and Photographers Association award ceremony. Congratulations to The Royal Cavalry of Oman for their achievement in Arabian Racing not only for their support in the UK but worldwide.”

ARO Chairman Charles Gregson commented. “We are delighted to see the Royal Cavalry of Oman honoured in this way as they have done so much to support Arabian racing here in the UK and we warmly congratulate them on this award. We are also extremely grateful to both the QREC and HWPA for recognising Arabian racing at this annual event.”

Salim Al Hakmani receiving the Horserace Writers and Photographer’s Association Award

(C) Zuzanna Lupa

The Royal Cavalry of Oman receiving the trophy for Sylvine Al Maury’s win in the 2017 Shadwell Arabian Stallions Hatta International Stakes, Gr1PA

(C) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

ARABIAN RACING ACHIEVMENTS RECOGNISED AT QREC HWPA AWARDS

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to announce the four nominees who have been recognised for their achievements during the 2017 UK Arabian racing season at the annual Horserace Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) Awards, sponsored by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, which take place next month in London. The Royal Cavalry of Oman, James Owen, Ellie Mackenzie and Heather Phillpott have all had landmark seasons and they compete to secure the prestigious award which went to ARO patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2016.

Owen who recorded back to back ARO Trainer Championships and also owned and trained the Champion Arabian and Champion Mare, Dolfina D’Ibos commented: “It is an honour to have been nominated for the Arabian Award and I would like to thank Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club for their generous sponsorship of Arabian racing in the UK. Thank you to my owners, including HH Sheikh Hamdan, for allowing me the privilege to train for them and a huge thank you my staff at home and to ARO who continues to work hard to push our sport forward.”

Mackenzie, who represents Racing Welfare as their Arabian Racing Ambassador and secured the Novice Jockeys title was overwhelmed saying: “It’s a tremendous honour and a huge confidence boost, plus it is a good stepping stone to build on for next season. I can’t thank Racing Welfare enough, as well as all the owners and trainers who have given me chances, and of course my agent Anna Wallace for her unceasing support.”

ARO Chairman Charles Gregson said: “We thank the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club and also the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association for their support of UK Arabian racing, recognising the achievements of its’ participants in this way.

“The Royal Cavalry of Oman and Heather Phillpott have been long term owner-breeders here in the UK and it is wonderful to see both ends of the scale rewarded with their respective nominations. Both James and Ellie have had outstanding seasons and we extend our best wishes to all the nominees for the awards ceremony on December 4 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: Royal Cavalry of Oman, James Owen, Ellie Mackenzie, Heather Philpott – (C) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media.

Royal praise for HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival

At a private reception held at Buckingham Palace, the London residence of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, 13 November 2017, Global Ambassador of the Women of the Future programme, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, received Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), to discuss the recent activities of the Festival and its 10-year anniversary celebrations.

As category sponsors of the prestigious Women of the Future Awards, which takes place at London’s Hilton Park Lane Hotel on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Lara Sawaya together with VIP guests, sponsors and dignitaries of the Awards were welcomed to the Bow Room, an exclusive State Room at the Palace used for entertaining private audiences of The Queen and British Royals.

Following the Festival’s week-long programme of Arabian horseracing activities in Abu Dhabi between the 7th and 12th of November 2017, which saw 12-year-old British rider Mia Ann Nicholls win the inaugural HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Race Final, The Countess was delighted to learn about the Festival’s ongoing efforts to develop and encourage the careers of young jockeys, together with promoting the success of female riders as part of the world-renowned HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race series.

Thanks to the Festival’s involvement in the Women of the Future Awards this will be the second consecutive year horseracing has achieved representation in the Sport category shortlist, with Professional National Hunt and Flat jockey Alice Mills qualifying for selection in 2016, and Amateur National Hunt and Flat jockey Page Fuller who is in the running to receive this year’s award.

Lara Sawaya commented, “It was a special moment for the Festival to be received at Buckingham Palace by Her Royal Highness and commended for the work of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

‘The Festival’s sponsorship of the Women of the Future Sport Award reflects the collective dedication of HH Sheikh Mansoor and HH Sheikha Fatima to support women of all ages and backgrounds, not only in horseracing but across all sports.

‘We wish Page Fuller the best of luck tomorrow and would like to congratulate Mia Ann Nicholls, our first HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Race Champion, for her inspirational achievements in Abu Dhabi last week.”

For more information about the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival and the Women of the Future Awards please visit www.sheikhmansoorfestival.com and www.womenofthefuture.co.uk.

Picture courtesy of Erroll Jones. High-res available upon request.

Caption: Lara Sawaya (left) joins HRH The Countess of Wessex at a private reception held in honour of the Women of the Future Awards at Buckingham Palace on Monday, 13 November 2017. 

CHEIK ROQUE HEADS TO THE JEWEL CROWN

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to learn that Cheik Roque, trained by Phil Collington in Newmarket for Athbah Stud, will head to the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1 PA). With a prize fund of €1.2 million Euros, it is the world’s richest Arabian horse race and will be run on Friday November 10 at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

The globe-trotting Cheik Roque finished second in Italy on his latest start and is the first UK trained runner to line-up  in the feature event which concludes the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival racing season for 2017. Collington commented: “It was a great run by Cheik Roque to finish second in Italy. I have been delighted with his performances all season in the UK and am honoured to receive the invitation. We thank HH Sheikh Mansoor and Lara Sawaya for the opportunity to compete in this prestigious event.”

Also on the supporting card will be the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) finals. The UK will be represented in the ladies’ finals by Rosie Jessop. Jessop booked her place when winning the Belgian stage of the contest and bids to emulate fellow UK lady jockey Catherine Walton who was successful in Abu Dhabi in 2016. Though yet to ride in Arabian races in the UK, Jessop who is apprenticed to Newmarket thoroughbred trainer Sir Mark Prescott, has had plenty of experience riding Arabians in Bahrain for Alan Smith.

Jessop said: “I am very much looking forward to the experience as it’s a track I’ve not yet been to. I really appreciate the opportunity to take part in this series and I am grateful to the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival for what they are doing to promote professional and amateur lady riders around the world.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Director said: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and of its’ Executive Director, Lara Sawaya. It is great to see a UK trained horse taking part in the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown and we wish Cheik Roque and his team every success next month. We also extend our good wishes to Rosie Jessop and would be delighted if she could record back to back successes for the UK in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) finals.”

Photo: Cheik Roque and Tadhg O’Shea winning the Emirates Premier Handicap at DIAR 2017 (C) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

HARC PRESS RELEASE

Declarations are done! 11 starters prepare for the 2100m HARC European Championship on 30th October in Ghlin, Belgium offering a purse of Euros 20,000.

The big surprise for the forthcoming HARC Championship is the running of an Iranian horse that has travelled especially for this race all the way from Iran to Ireland, where it spent its last weeks of preparation at Highfort stud. One can guess the owner, Mr Mohammed Reza GHANEI ARDAKANI and his translator Hamid Reza MOJTAHEDZADEH, who started this venture are quite excited about it. The horse Ganj Beik is one of the better Heritage racehorses in Iran having won a HARC race not so long ago. The sire of the paternal granddam was the well-known black stallion Samarquand that Mary Gharagozlou loved so much. He was a son of Arras, a horse Mary used to ride herself. We wish Ganj Beik the best of luck giving attention to the Iranian breed of Asil horses, tracing way back in the history of the Arab breed.

Also new to HARC and very much appreciated, is the participation of the two Italian Heritage horses, both belonging to Angela Origgi. Italy joined HARC racing just this year but have a strong tradition of racing Arab horses, especially in Sardinia, where the major state-stud produced very athletic Arabian horses. Both 3-year old contenders for the HARC-Championship are bred by La Bosana Stud:- Ibis Bosana of Egyptian/Russian /Polish bloodlines and Ianua Bosana of Russian/Polish lineage.
The Russian breeders (Tersk and Samovolov Stud) send again this year their good horses to compete in this HARC-Championship which means so much to the Russian Arab breeders. We all remember Sakmagon Tersk who finished second last year only 3/4th length behind the winner … and thus contributing to the victory of Russia for the Nations Cup Sakmagon Tersk will form the Russian team with two more colts, Ceylon the older one (2012) belonging to Valentin Bukhtoyarov and the young, but very successful in his homeland, Gidon belonging to Samovolov Stud. All 3 horses have been on the road since last Monday … and we wish them safe travels and good condition upon arrival.

The Swedish delegation has three horses who also competed last year:- the overall winner Pamill’s Lipse has a very favorable weight this year as she did not run in her home country in Heritage races, which she very probably would have won, but instead tackled open races of higher level where she did not achieve higher than third. Still a great performance for a Heritage horse in an open race. Her travelling companions Mr Maximus and RM Estelle both contributed last year to secure the second position in the Nations Cup.

Kallista, our only GB Heritage horse going for competition abroad is a strong competitor and won/placed several times in HARC and open races in England. Owner Paul Simmons will hopefully be present this year in Ghlin to offer support for this special occasion of his Sambist daughter trained by Peter Hammersley.

The only Belgian–trained contender is the Romanian-bred Demona by a Russian sire, but out of old bloodlines bred by Mangalia, the National Stud of Romania. Her owner, Guillaume Filet is in fact French, living in Romania and is working very hard there to start up again the races for Arabian horses and in particular for the Heritage horses. Till now, only very little French blood has found its way to Romania, and the Romanians have a strong pride of their national breeding.

We wish good luck to all horses and their connections.

To view the declarations please click here.

CAREER SUCCESS FOR GRADUATE OF ARABIAN RACING

Following the final fixture of the 2017 UK season, the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) offers their warmest congratulations to ARO Judge, Michael Roberts, on taking up his appointment as a Judge for the British Horseracing Authority. Roberts started his career with ARO three seasons ago, initially in a support capacity, however his long-term aim was always to be a judge.

The primary function of the role is to place the horses as they cross the line, with the support of photo-finish technology where necessary. His role also includes monitoring the sponsorship scheme for owners. He began training for the position at the end of May and undertook his first appointment at Uttoxeter on 28th July. Working primarily in the North West, he has already been as far afield as Chepstow and Market Rasen, and he welcomes the level of variety that the role provides.

Of his time with ARO and his recent appointment, Roberts said: “I’ve aspired to work in racing for a long time and saw ARO as an opportunity to get to know one of the lesser known areas of the sport. I have made some good friends and hope that I’ll be able to continue judging for ARO alongside my BHA commitments.”

He continued: “The experience I’ve gained with ARO has been critical in terms of being offered the BHA position, from having experience I could use in the initial application, to being able to discuss my understanding of the role at interview. There are only about 10 BHA judges in the country, meaning competition for any vacancies is likely to be strong, so having practical experience that makes you stand out is key. I’d encourage anyone who wants to work in racing to join the team at ARO, everyone there has been fantastic, but Genny and Peter Haynes, Gary Capewell and Tricia Newman have been hugely supportive and really helped me to find my feet in the early days.

ARO Director Genny Haynes commented: “Obviously we are delighted for Michael on his new appointment as a BHA Judge. This is yet another example of how Arabian Racing can benefit the wider racing industry by giving opportunities for education and career progression in all areas, not just riding and training horses. ARO wishes Michael every success.”

LB FARRAH CLAIMS SECOND HARC CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE SEASON FINALE AT HUNTINGDON

The UK Arabian racing Season Finale saw LB Farrah and Teresa Gavin claim their second Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) UK Championship, following their decisive win in the HARC Handicap Conditions race, run over two miles at Huntingdon racecourse. Facing a field of 10 runners, they finished six lengths clear of Kallista, with Windsor’s HARC winner, Top Trip, half a length away in third.

LB Farrah (Sambist x Simeon Safira) who Gavin owns, trains and rides, won the first HARC race of the 2017 season, a conditions event over a mile at Taunton and has twice been placed in handicaps over the summer, before returning to HARC company for her final win of the year.

Gavin commented: “I’m absolutely delighted LB Farrah has been crowned Champion UK HARC Horse for the second consecutive year. She has come on again from her success last year and although she has always been a quirky mare, she has always thrived on her work. I feel this season she has noticeably matured and grown stronger again too.

“I couldn’t be more proud of her for winning the HARC race at Huntingdon, she has never run over two miles before, but I knew she would give everything she had. I am extremely grateful to the sponsors for establishing this series of races.”

There was further HARC success at Huntingdon, as Insignia (Istfahan x Waterlily), won the first race on the card, the Friends of Arabian Racing Memorial (0-40) Handicap. He had opened his account in the HARC Maiden at Wolverhampton in June and had also been second to Top Trip at Windsor in a HARC Handicap race last month. Trained by ARO Champion Trainer James Owen for his parents (and Insignia’s breeders), Jenny and Herbie Owen, Insignia was a close runner-up in the overall HARC horse championship.

Gemma Cobb, the out-going ARO Racing Operations Executive said: “It was a great finish to the season at Huntingdon and we are pleased with the way that HARC has been embraced by our owners and trainers. We ended the season with 17 horses registered. LB Farrah and Insignia were dual winners, whilst Kallista (HARC Championship 3rd) and Top Trip (HARC Championship 4th) won a race a piece.”

ARO Director Genny Haynes commented: “We thank HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Heritage Arabian Racing Club for their series of races. 2017 has been our most successful in terms of the number of Purebred Arabian entries and declarations in all our races for some time and we look forward to building on this seasons’ success next year.”

 


LB Farrah and Teresa Gavin win from Kallista (right) and Top Trip (left) in the HARC H’cp Conditions race over a mile at Huntingdon

(C) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media 2017

FOUR-TIMER FOR ARO CHAMPION OWEN AT THE SEASON FINALE AT HUNTINGDON

The final fixture of the UK Arabian racing season was dominated by trainer James Owen, who rounded off his most successful year yet by winning the first four races on the card with Insignia, Mahaasen, Dolfina D’Ibos and Tatbeeq. Owen had already been confirmed as ARO Champion Trainer for a second season going into the fixture, as had Champion Lady Jockey Joanna Mason, who also rode Mahaasen and Tatbeeq. Insignia and Bronze Final winner Dolfina D’Ibos, provided multiple champion jockey Simon Walker with a double, however this year the Jockeys’ Championship went to David Turner, whilst Ellie Mackenzie was crowned Champion Novice Jockey.

ARO Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum won his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship, and thanks to Mahaasen, Tatbeeq and Almareekh, who won the Gold Final for Phil Collington, he recorded a treble on the day. Commenting on His Highness’s success, Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster said: “It is wonderful that HH Sheikh Hamdan has once again become leading owner. He is passionate about the Arabian horse and he puts so much into promoting Arabian racing around the world.”

He continued: “On behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan I would like to thank everyone involved in making this achievement possible once more. HH Sheikh Hamdan would also like to thank ARO and everyone involved in arranging the race programme for all their hard work.”

Owen was delighted with how his team had performed saying: “I’m so pleased for my parents who bred Insignia, he’ll probably be retired, but they have really enjoyed racing this season and have some nice youngsters coming through for next year. I think Mahaasen was lucky as Taqdeeraat got left at the start, but she had the benefit of experience to help her. Tatbeeq has been slowly coming to hand, he really tried today and he should improve over the winter. Dolfina D’Ibos has run for me almost every meeting, but she has strengthened throughout the season and Simon gets on really well with her. She’s sound and she’s tough – she’s won on the All Weather, she’s won on the grass, she’s given some of our novice jockeys a great experience and ended up as Champion Arabian and Champion mare.”

He thanked his principal owner, HH Sheikh Hamdan for his loyalty saying: “It’s been wonderful with his young horses coming through, and exciting with three-year-olds like Al Kaaser and Rafeef for next season. Shadwell are such a great team to work with, it’s a privilege to train His Highness’s horses and I just hope I can train some nice winners for him in the future. I’m also really pleased for all my staff at home, they work really hard, they enjoy coming racing and their parents come along too. We’re a happy team.”

ARO Champion Lady Jockey, Joanna Mason was also recording her second consecutive championship. She thanked Owen for his support saying: “It’s thanks to him that I’ve been able to ride nice horses. It’s amazing to get 10 winners, I would never have dreamt that was possible at the start of the season.”

Though he had to settle for a third and a second on the day, David Turner secured his first ARO Jockeys’ title and is not far short of recording a landmark of 100 career winners. He commented: “It’s been a very good season thanks to all of Peter Hammersley’s owners and of course the Royal Cavalry of Oman. I’ve always been thereabouts in the Championship over the years, and mostly this season, I’ve ridden the lower rated horses, which proves you can win a title from the lower end. However, some have been really nice horses who I’m sure will progress next year.”

Racing Welfare Ambassador Ellie Mackenzie was crowned Champion Novice Jockey, she commented: “It’s been absolutely fantastic to be given the opportunities that I have and Racing Welfare have been good to me too. I’m so lucky, I never expected it to be such a great season and to win a Group 2 race at Dubai International Arabian Races on my first ride there was incredible.”

The Silver Final went to Parma T, ridden by Morgan Winstone for the Bull family. She had won the GoldFinal last year, but having slipped in the ratings, was back to her best when it mattered. The Heritage Arabian Racing Club Handicap Conditions race was won by LB Farrah for Teresa Gavin, which assured her place as the 2017 UK HARC Champion, which she had also won last year.

 

Trainer Phil Collington scored with Cheik Roque in the ARO Open Handicap for Athbah Stud and Almareekh in the Gold Final for HH Sheikh Hamdan. Though finishing runner-up again in the trainers’ title, he had recorded his best season to date.

Gemma Cobb, the out-going ARO Racing Operations Executive said: “It has been a great finish to the season at Huntingdon today, with the Gold, Silver and Bronze Finals proving very competitive and producing some fantastic finishes. We have had some great racing throughout the season and it is a credit to all the hard work put in behind the scenes by owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff. I have met many passionate individuals and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to gain as much experience anywhere else. I fully intend to utilise everything I have learnt at ARO in the future.”

ARO Director Genny Haynes said: “We thank HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his support of Arabian racing and congratulate him for securing his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship. We also thank the Arabian Horse Organization for their sponsorship of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Finals, Forta Stud for sponsoring the fillies’ maiden and the Heritage Arabian Racing Club for their series of races.”

She continued: “We also thank Baileys Horse Feeds for sponsoring the Best Turned Out awards today and to Racing Welfare for their sponsorship of the Best Turned Out Championships. Peter Hammersley’s staff won the large yard team award, and Ria Tillet of Collington Racing won the individual award (large yard), whilst Sarah Davenport and Jayme Plumb shared the small yard individual award.”

She also congratulated Paul Simmons, who was appointed to the board of Directors at ARO earlier in the year, on receipt of the Shomran Trophy and Ellie Mackenzie who received the Grass Roots Award from Anna and Brian Wallace. Both awards recognise an individuals’ contribution to the sport throughout the season. The ARO Best Newcomer Award went to Said Al Badi of the Royal Cavalry of Oman, who was not present to receive it. The AHS Leading Owner award went to Heather Phillpott, AHS Leading trainer was Teresa Gavin and AHS Premium Scheme winner was LB Farrah.

Concluding Haynes said: “We also thank the staff at Huntingdon and all the racecourse teams who have hosted ARO fixtures and single races this year. 2017 has been our most successful in terms of the number of Purebred Arabian entries and declarations for some time and we look forward to building on this seasons’ success next year.”

62 RUNNERS DECLARED FOR ARO SEASON FINALE AT HUNTINGDON

The final fixture of the UK Arabian racing season takes place this Saturday, 23rd September, at Huntingdon racecourse in Cambridgeshire, with 62 runners declared. The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Season Finale will start at 1pm, with an eight-race card, headed by the Gold, Silver and Bronze Finals, plus two further handicaps and maiden races, sponsored by the Arabian Horse Organization, Forta Stud and the Heritage Arabian Racing Club. As the last UK fixture of the 2017 it is where the Season’s Champions will be crowned. Whilst it is certain that ARO Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan will win his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship, James Owen his second Trainers title and Joanna Mason her second Lady Jockeys title, the remaining championships are not so definite, promising a thrilling afternoon of racing.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “ARO looks forward to our final fixture of 2017 and I’m sure that though many of the championships look to be settled, there could be some close finishes which may turn things around, which will add to the excitement. We thank Huntingdon racecourse and all the days’ sponsors for their support of this meeting.”

She continued: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and congratulate him in advance of receipt of his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship. It is thanks to his patronage and the support of all our sponsors in 2017 which have contributed to the success of the sport this season, ensuring the future of Purebred Arabian racing in the UK.”

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