A successful 10th Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship (DIAHC) and 9th edition of the Dubai International Horse Fair (DIHF), the Middle East’s largest equine exhibition, has concluded with promising trade conducted by industry players with the heritage, beauty and agility of the world’s finest Arabian horses showcased. The event, held at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 21-23 March, was hailed as the ultimate arena for all segments of the equestrian industry.
The event was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, who inaugurated the event and has provided his on-going support of the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship & Fair.
“The Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship & Fair, has once again demonstrated its role as the region’s most highly anticipated event to conduct business, showcase the finest Arabian horse specimens, learn about the latest innovations in the field as well as network among key industry representatives,” said Ziad Abdullah Galadari, Chairman, Higher Organising Committee of DIAHC.
Exhibitors generate genuine business leads
First-time exhibitor AlphaOmega, which introduced to the Middle East a unique “Paso Fino” Colombian horse breed ranging from AED150,000 to AED7 million, has reported keen interest shown by the regional equestrian industry. AlphaOmega manager Ricardo Avila Pineda said: “During the DIHF, several buyers approached us to buy specific horses and in the upcoming weeks we expect to develop more leads. I have met with people from Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar who are eager to introduce the Paso Fino breed to their respective countries. This exciting event has certainly met my expectations.”
Exhibitors Martin Thirkell, Implementation Manager and Michael Naughton, Product Manager, of Fine Equinity in the UK said: “We’ve certainly received a lot of interest at DIHF and because Dubai is a window to the world we have had queries from buyers in South Africa, New Zealand and the United States. Our business is only 12 months old, which is why we came here to gain access to people from far afield – on the first day along we had 10 to 15 genuinely interested buyers from mainly the endurance racing industry.” During DIHF, Fine Equinity introduced an affordable, secure, web-based horse welfare and training tool to the regional and global equestrian industry.
Artists take centre stage
Renowned international sculptor and DIHF exhibitor Carolyn Morton said: “The leads at DIHF have been very positive and of a good quality – I’ve sold pieces and made excellent contacts. Morton, who is currently based in Portugal and previously lived in Dubai, designed and sculpted the trophies for the DIAHC. Her previous notable commissions include a life size bronze bust of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
In the midst of high stakes horse competitions, horse auctions and the latest technologies and products offered at the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship and Fair, artists specialising in equestrian art are showcased their works to much fanfare. As the event concluded, these artists demonstrated the beauty, agility and heritage of Arabian horses to art connoisseurs, discerning horse owners, breeders, equine professionals and leisure riders across the region. Artists included Ali Almimar, an Iraqi artist who participated for the sixth time in DIHF and will launch an equestrian art book next year, Saudi artist and art lecturer Nasser bin Ibrahim Al-Dibeahy and Chaminda Pereira, a Sri Lankan wood sculptor who resides in Saudi Arabia among others.
Equestrian enthusiasts flock to DIHF
Jassem Al Juabeh, Partner and Managing Director of a general contracting company, brought his family for a fun day at the show. “We are visiting the Horse Championship and Fair because we love horses and like to see them in action,” said Al Juabeh. “We have spent two good hours watching the lovely horse shows in the beauty contest and we are now looking for an equine training club. We have already met couple of them and we shall make-up our minds soon about where to register my three boys.”
Fatima Nazzal from Ekermawi Stud in Jordan, said: “As a member of a family who owns and breeds horses, I can say that the wide equestrian product offering at the show is amazing, and with the latest launches in feeds and nutritious supplements I think that DIHF is a must-visit event.”