Third White Turf Race Sunday in St. Moritz, Switzerland
HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies race on ice track called off
St Moritz, Switerland
Sunday’s HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race along with the other races on the card on the frozen St Moritz Lake in Switzerland was called off after a crack on the ice track threatened the safety of the horses and riders.
The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race was to be staged under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and the eight lady jockeys were all set to battle for a berth in the November finals of the world championship.
The race meeting was the third White Turf Race Sunday in St. Moritz and in the first Sunday the Festival had staged the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (listed) race on the same ice track.
But the third meeting had to be cancelled after a fall in the first race. After thorough investigation by the persons responsible for White Turf, a crack in the ice had occurred on the inner rails in the direction of the racetrack, some 150m from the finishing line. This meant that water had come up to undermine the racetrack, accordinmg to a press release from the organisers.
“As we could not estimate how conditions on the racecourse would develop, we unfortunately had to call of the race meeting”, said Thomas C. Walther, President of the Management Board of the St. Moritz Racing Association, addressing the participating horsemen and the spectators from the presentation ceremony stand.
The spectators indicated their approval and understanding by applauding this decision. ‘The safety of the horses and the riders are paramount. There is no danger for spectators anywhere on the lake’, concluded Thomas C. Walther.
However, after the cancellation of the remaining races, the majority of the spectators numbering approximately 10,000, stayed on the frozen lake and enjoyed the accompanying programme as planned, including the official presentation of the trophies to winners of the first two Sunday meetings.
The UAE delegation headed by HE Saqr Nasser Al Raisi, UAE Ambassador to Italy, HE Dr. Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, Assistant Foreign and International Cooperation Legal Affairs Minister, Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, 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) and Adnan Sultan, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club were at the race meeting.
“The safety of our Purebred Arabian horses as well as the other participating horses and our Lady jockeys and the other athletes and jockeys is very important and it is unfortunate that this leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race could not be run. We hope that this will not be the case next year as we will be back to give our Arabian horses and the jockeys an opportunity to test their skills on this challenging ice race track,” said Ms Sawaya.
The 2018 White Turf will take place on the first three Sundays in February. The dates: 4th February; 11th February and 18th February 2018.
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, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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.