Shiekh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup Gr 3 California
article - Kathy Smoke photos courtesy Sidney Simpson
If you weren’t able to come enjoy the beautiful weather at the Alameda Country Fair in Pleasanton, Ca on Saturday June 23rd you missed a fabulous, fun day.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary and the fact that it is the oldest track in California the people turned out in droves.
Members of the Arabian Racing Association of California Susan and Joe Willis, Mei Davis, Cyndi Scharli working with Jeanne Wasserman, Director of Live Racing at the Alameda County Fair, threw out the red carpet for the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup, Gr 3 sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Festival for Arabian Flat horse racing.
A delicious luncheon reception pre and post-race was a delightful way to mingle with the sponsors and all the guests that came to share in the fun. Some great people from local Diablo Arabian horse club, Michael Weinstein,Cory Soltau dvm,, and Micheal Cheatwood (pictured below lft-rt) & Sidney Simpson who took some great photos seen here, were among the many who came to cheer on the racing Arabians.
Racing at a county fair is an entirely different atmosphere from the typical race course. People from all over come to enjoy the entertainment the fair has to offer and many of them are exposed to the Arabian breed for the first time. The large crowd was 3 deep watching the Arabians in the saddling paddock and the grand stand was full.
Back by popular demand were 3 native costume riders who started out in the saddling paddock where adults as well as children got to “pet the beautiful horses”. The spectators were then treated to the spectacle of the 3 adorned riders and horses racing past the grandstands. The cheers could be heard round the fair. The Willis produced video of the history of our breed and our discipline broadcast on the JumboTron in the infield was a poignant story that provides information to the public while entertaining them.
Eight highly competitive horses went to the gates for this 6f stakes race. The cheering from the crowd was indicative as to how exciting the race was. Trainer Helen Shelley won the race for her 2nd straight year, capturing 2nd place as well.
Possibly the long trip from Colorado was just a bit too much for Golly Bret in the stretch as he had to settle for third place and stable mate By Golly Its Hot missed getting on the board. Breeder/owner & ARAC member Sam Vasquez who made the long trip with his horses stands out as one of Arabian racing’s bigger assets. You can count on Sam and his horses to participate everywhere.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Director of the Global Festival race series and head of the IFAHR Ladies race series under the sponsorship of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak announced to the large gathering that not only will the Sheikh Zayed Cup stakes race come back with a $30,000 purse but for the first time, Pleasanton, Ca will also host the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak IFAHR Ladies race with a purse of $25,000.
If you own a racing Arabian you may want to put this on your calendar for 2013. A great day of racing on the Pleasanton racetrack along with the fun and excitement of the Alameda County Fair. If you don’t have a horse come out anyway, support our breed and enjoy the hospitality and fun that ARAC and the fair offer.
The Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE's General Women's Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.