The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was excited to confirm today the details of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival events in the UK for 2017. The highlight of which is the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA), which this season will be run as part of a full evening of Purebred Arabian racing at Chelmsford City racecourse. The Group 1 contest, with a £80,000 prize fund will be supported by the two HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Championship (IFAHR) series races for Lady and Apprentice riders as well as a further three Wathba Stud Farm Cup races. Staged on Saturday August 12 as part of Chelmsford’s successful music night series, the event will conclude with live music from UB40.

In addition two further full fixtures at Chelmsford will be sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, confirmed as Saturday July 15 and Saturday September 16. Last year was the first time Arabian racing had regularly been to Chelmsford City and proved a popular addition to the tracks fixture list with meetings attracting crowds of well over 1000 of family racegoers.

Fraser Garrity, Chelmsford City Racecourse Manager commented: “We’re so pleased to be working with ARO again hosting three Arabian Fixtures in 2017.  The three Arabian meetings at Chelmsford City Racecourse last year went incredibly well and it was fantastic to see the local community embracing the days.

“It’s a real honour to be a part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival events in the UK this year and of course we feel incredibly privileged to be staging the Group 1 HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup as the centrepiece of the 12th August raceday.”

He continued: “Since opening in 2015 we have been delighted to stage three Group races at Chelsmford City Racecourse, but we have never before hosted a Group 1 race of any kind.  So this is a really important landmark for us in our short history so far, and we really look forward to further building our already fruitful relationship with the Arabian racing community in the years ahead.”

ARO Director Genny Haynes was delighted to confirm the programme of UK events saying: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. The Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival has been an important addition to Arabian racing around the world and the tireless efforts of Festival Executive Director Lara Sawaya to promote the sport, has been welcomed worldwide. The UK continues to be at the forefront of Arabian racing and this Festival supports racing from the grass-roots to the very highest level.

She continued: “We are also extremely pleased to continue our relationship with Chelmsford City Racecourse. The whole team here embraced Arabian racing wholeheartedly last season – as did the local community, who gave us some of our largest crowds of 2016 and we look forward to all of our fixtures here this season.”