D -Day Trial Hens – Faisal Al Rahmani: “Our relationship with France will last forever!»

Races / 14.05.2022

Since 2017, the Poules d’Essai, which takes place on Sunday in Longchamp, has been sponsored by the United Arab Emirates, via Emirates. Faisal Al Rahmani, representative of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and president of IFAHR (International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing), told us about this important partnership between French racing and the Emirates.

After two years under the Covid sign, what is your state of mind due to Emirates Poules d’Essai day 2022?

Faisal Al Rahmani | – We are excited to be back at ParisLongchamp tomorrow for the Emirates Poules d’Essai day with the France Galop teams. I wish good luck to all participants in both races! We have a long relationship with France, which has existed for thirty years. We support almost 40% of Purebred Arabian races, including the President Cup, with the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and races in the name of Sheikh Mansour. And it will continue! For two years, Covid has been there and we continue to sponsor and fund all the races in which we are involved. And we plan to increase our financial participation even more: we have decided this year that we will increase our contribution by 10%, so next year Poules d’Essai should also benefit from it. We are waiting for next year because there are uncertainties for the start of 2022 around Covid and the possibilities of races behind closed doors.

The partnership between France Galop and Emirates is signed until 2024. Are you planning to extend it?

We are in talks with France Galop for extension and new ideas to further promote the races and increase allocation. Last year, we had some really nice Poules d’Essai but, with Covid, the quarantines, we didn’t keep the races as much as we’d like. We are back to normal in 2022 and I think next year will be even better! Our relationship in France will last forever! We think in the long term: we don’t want an alternative partnership but a lasting relationship.

The relationship has existed for a long time around the Purebred Arabian breed…

Emirates has been associated with purebred Arabian racing since 1991 in France. The President’s Cup circuit is trying to attract the best Arabian horses in the world. And succeeded! In Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Oman, you can see that the horses shining in Grs1 have gone through a President’s Cup. Same in Belgium, Holland, Poland, Italy, Great Britain, Morocco, Tunisia… Or even in Libya, where careers are booming. Fifteen countries are offering the President’s Cup and counting: we are in the process of concluding agreements with Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. We want the Purebred Arabian career to be global and the Purebred Arabian market to continue to grow and develop. We saw last year that allocations for Purebred Arabian races continue to grow: it’s because they’ve done well. There is a strong market for these horses, many people are looking to buy a Gr1 Purebred Arabian but it is rarely sold! We are really in the golden age of pure Arabian racing.

And France is, in my opinion, the best place for those who want to make a partnership or a long -term business career. His Highness the Sheikh Mansour owned a large stud farm in Normandy. And many new investors are showing up. I hope that, like the thoroughbred world, more investors will breed purebreds in France. It is a paradise for breeders and owners.

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