President of UAE Cup series to kick off on Sunday

The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), organisers of the President of the UAE Cup Series, on Tuesday announced the 2011 race schedule at the Royal Stables in Abu Dhabi.

The 2011 calendar features seven races, across the UAE, Europe and the United States. The debut race on Sunday, February 6, will take place at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

The confirmed race schedule includes: The President of the UAE Cup Series Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on February 6; the Abu Dhabi Irish Guineas Festival, Curragh, Ireland, on May 21-22; the Spring Festival, Baden-Baden, Germany, on June 5; the Grand Prix de St-Cloud Paris, France, on June 26; the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes Day Newmarket, UK, on July 8; King George Day , Ascot, UK, on July 23 and Moscow Hippodrome, Russia, on September 4.

President of the UAE Cup race will also take place in Kentucky, USA with the announcement of race date to be made shortly.

"It is very fitting that we are able to share the excitement and success of this international horse race series with everyone in Abu Dhabi," said Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the EEF. "With the support of the series partners, the February 6 race in Abu Dhabi will demonstrate how we present the emirate to the world through this globally-recognised horse race series.

"The 2011 schedule features two additional races, including the season debut in Abu Dhabi," said Taleb Al Muhairi, EEF Secretary General. "The nominations are particularly strong for the February 6 race, so horse enthusiasts will see a thrilling race, as well as, enjoy a night at the races as never before seen in Abu Dhabi."

Gathered at the Sheikh Zayed Majlis at the Royal Stables, EEF Secretary General, Taleb Al Muhairi, was accompanied by Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager of the Curragh Racecourse; Kieran Fallon, international champion jockey; Philippe Barbe and Eric Lemartinel, horse trainers.

Established in 1994 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to promote and celebrate the Arabian horse globally, the President of the UAE Cup Series was the first international purebred Arabian horse race series, and today is still considered the premier racing series for the breed.

In 2009, an Organising Committee was established to expand the vision of the President's Cup to increase awareness of the purebred Arabian horse internationally and promote the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The members of the committee are: The Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi; The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority; Etihad Airways.

In addition to the on-track excitement, on February 6, the general public is invited to experience genuine Arabian culture at the Bedouin hospitality tent, featuring henna painting, calligraphy, a falconry display and traditional crafts of the UAE.

There will be activities for the entire family with face painting, pony rides, arts and crafts, horse games and a football kicking competition.

Finally, there will be many prizes and give-aways, including a trip for two to a President of the UAE Cup Series race in Europe this summer, courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Etihad Airways, as well as a draw to win a car.

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