D Aziza dazzles as Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship kicks off - GulfToday

D Aziza dazzles as Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship kicks off


Hanaya Arabian Stud’s D Aziza during the qualifying round of Class 6 for Mares at the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Nayla Hayek's D Aziza, a stunning grey mare, seized the spotlight on the mesmerizing inaugural day of the 21st edition of the $4 million Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship (DIAHC) held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center on Friday.

Taking part in the concluding qualifying spectacle of the evening, Class 6 for Mares aged 10 years and above, the illustrious Purebred effortlessly clinched the judge's favor, outshining her competitors, Basandra Settimocielo and Wildona Rewrite, to secure the top spot with grace and finesse.

Being held at Zabeel Halls 4, 5, and 6, the highly anticipated three-day event sees a total of 102 horse studs compete across 14 categories, with the Gold Champion Senior receiving the highest award value of $275,000.

Qusai Obaidalla, DIAHC Director and Board Member, said: “This year's Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship holds a special distinction. Not only is it the 21st edition, but it's also the first to be held during the holy month of Ramadan and conducted entirely at night. This unique combination has sparked significant interest, with a record-breaking 205 horses participating.

“The competition boasts an impressive lineup, including six world champions and 50 horses who have won local and international championships.

“Local participation is particularly strong, with several purebred Arabians poised to challenge for the top spots in the six championship finals,” he added.

“Adding to the event's appeal is a revamped accompanying exhibition. Unlike previous years, this edition transforms the space into a local market and trading platform. Here, 16 companies showcase the latest advancements in equine technology and equestrian products.”

The opening day of the championship featured nine rounds and seven qualifying rounds.

To mark the first day of the competition, participating horses took to the arena in a stunning display of equestrian elegance, showcasing the quality and character of Arabian horses descended from some of the world’s leading breeds and owned by some of the world’s most prestigious owners.

Each horse was assessed on its stand-out aesthetic features, including its head, neck, chest, body, and feet, as well as the symmetry of its body and its agility, with a chance to appear before a committee of internationally acclaimed expert judges.

The categories are defined by a distinct points system, with each horse nominated for a Gold Medal obtaining four points and each nominated for silver and bronze receiving two points and one point, respectively.

Two non-qualifying categories — filly foals and colt foals — also took place.

In Class 13, the non-qualifying filly foals category, Ajeebah Albidayer claimed first place with 154 points, Maha Al Fahaid placed second with a total of 84 points, and MK Ghazll followed closely in third place with 81 points.

The non-qualifying colt foals segment, Class 14, saw Farid Al Hamidiya snag the winning nomination with 124 points, while Rabi Al E’zz received 121 points and A L A Mash’Hoor ranked third with 117 points.

Class 1-A, the first of the qualifying categories that encompassed yearling fillies, saw D Rowa and Al Aryam Harbah tie for first place, with D Rowa claiming the victory at the last minute based on her type. Al Aryam Aboor took third place, only 0.84 points behind the leading pair, concluding an especially competitive round of presentations.

Class 1-B of yearling fillies had an especially close podium ranking, finishing with Shamikhat Al Hawajer at 91.75 points, Al Aryam Ola at 91.25 points, and Nasayem Al E’zz at 91.08 points, with the latter just ending up ahead of Lana Al Firas after a tie-breaking decision from the judging panel.

D Aserah placed first in Class 2, which is reserved for fillies ages two and older, with Al Aryam Sahayeb and Loulwah Raghwan placing second and third, respectively. Class 3 consisted of fillies aged three years old; D Raseel rose to the top of the category with 92.58 points, while E.S. Sharjah snagged the silver at 92.33 points, and SS Farah Tallin was awarded the bronze with 92.08 points.

Mares, aged four to six years old, competed against each other in the Class 4 category. AJ Alula won the qualifying tournament with 92.83 points, while the judges appointed Irvinna Al Shiraa in second place and D Jooreyyah in third, finishing with 92.50 and 92.42 points each.

Older mares ages seven to nine years old appeared in the Class 5 category. At the top of the podium was AJ Sajwa, garnering 92.75 points for her stunning performance. Falling just behind the winning position was AJ Barakah, at 92.67 points, and Da Little Princess snagged a spot in third place with a total of 92.58 points.

Enhancing the enchantment of the occasion is the Heritage Village, which offers a myriad of traditional Arabic activities and entertainment, promising delights for all. From captivating music performances to immersive hands-on experiences, the village offers a rich tapestry of cultural immersion.

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