Arabian racing began in the UK in 1979. When the Arabian Racing Organisation was established in 1999
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance,
became our Patron. His Highness has been a passionate supporter of Purebred Arabian racing worldwide and he is also patron of the Arab Horse Society.
His Highness has been Champion UK Arabian Owner on many occasions and is also a leading breeder. He divides his Arabian breeding-stock between the UK and France, with stallions standing in the UK, France and Italy, as well as making them available to breeders worldwide through AI. His Highness’s Purebred Arabian racehorses are trained in the UK, France and UAE, winning many of the high-profile races in the sport.
His Highness is also patron of ARO’s flagship event, Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) – Europe’s premier Arabian racing fixture, which was established at Kempton Park in 1984, transferring to Newbury racecourse in 1997. On this day, DIAR uniquely supports the grass-roots, whilst showcasing the sport at the very highest level.
His Highness’s passion and enthusiasm for the Arabian racehorse has been rewarded as the meeting has increased in stature every season since its inception. The forward thinking DIAR committee has instigated a number of initiatives to keep the programme at the forefront of the sport by adding a series of 17 preparatory races to the DIAR calendar. This now encompasses races in Italy, France, the Netherlands and Sweden, bringing the entire DIAR programme to 25 races, including 10 at Group or Listed level.
His Highness recently expressed his aims in supporting ARO. “We want to see more participants in the sport from Britain. We want them to appreciate the beauty and strength of the Arabian horse. It is important to us that people are aware of the noble attributes of the Arab horse and the thrill that competition in races can bring. We do not want it to be solely a sport for owners from the Middle East. We want everyone to recognise the magnificence of the Arab horse.”