The 15th annual Dubai International Horse Fair has been heralded a huge success, after phenomenal sales saw 90 horses change hands for more than $1.15million (Dh4.25m), and champion breeds sharing a $4million (Dh15m) competition prize-pool.
Held simultaneously with the 16th edition of the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship, the co-located events gathered thousands of global and regional equine industry players as both exhibitors and visitors, ranging from stable and horse owners, breeders, professionals and veterinarians, to service and care providers, specialist product providers, leisure riders, families and everyday horse enthusiasts.
The three-day Fair served-up many exciting live activities and performances, including show jumping, Spanish horse demonstrations, a spectacular equestrian display featuring tent pegging by Dubai Police, riveting sessions with world renowned horse trainer Miguel Duarte, and an equestrian-themed Art Gallery, alongside its famed Championship and auction.
The premiere event for discovering the latest and best in horse equipment and equine care
Officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance – and held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), March 21st to 23rd – the Dubai International Horse Fair caters to the booming equestrian hub that is the Middle East, showcasing the legendary grace, beauty, speed and power of Arabian thoroughbreds in an accessible, family-orientated environment.
The show’s packed exhibition area welcomed more than 10,000 buyers, professionals, breeders, families and enthusiasts from over 25 countries to meet and buy from 200+ participating brands. Equine healthcare took centre-stage, with innovative products ranging from cutting edge portable medical laser light therapy devices to tailored individual lighting for the wellbeing of horses amongst just some of the products brought to the region for the first time.
Exhibitors at the event included Jeff Butler, President, Prime Performance Nutrition from USA (Al Shaheen). He said: “We have participated at the show since its inception, so by now our clients here know us very well. We have clients coming from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, so the Dubai International Horse Fair is a very good meeting platform for us and for our agents here in UAE.”
Events that truly celebrate the outstanding beauty of Arabian horses
Always a huge draw, the 16th annual Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship once again presented a vast pool of majestic Arabian steeds, all of which were judged on their beauty and agility to be in with a chance of winning their owners a share of Dh15million prize-money.
The Championship is the world’s most prestigious beauty competition for Purebred Arabian horses, from the very young to the elderly statesmen of the Arabian equine world, and in traditional form attracted hundreds of outstanding contenders.
The Dubai Pearl Auction 2019, which took place on the Fair’s opening day, saw 110 Arabian horse breeds of best-in-class pedigree from local studs and international stables go under the hammer. In total, 90 were sold for a final value of Dh4.25million, with the three most expensive being UAE-bred: a Grey Mare from Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (Dh280,000), a Bay Mare owned by Allan Mahmoud Mohammed Allan (D230,000), and a second Bay Mare, again owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud, sold for Dh200,000.
Exhilarating live performances, demonstrations and awe-inspiring art
Maintaining its position as an event for all the family to enjoy, this year’s Dubai International Horse Fair provided stable-loads of fun. It featured live pony racing showcase by Al Dhabi, interactive sessions on animal maintenance, unique one-off displays by world-renowned trainer Miguel Duarte, equestrian performances, and the Dubai Mounted Police Equestrian Show.
The Emirates Falconers Club made a debut appearance at the Fair with a showcase of their breed of falcons, hosting live hunting sessions, sharing expertise on the rich history of the Falcon and its special place in Emirati culture. As too did the Arabian Saluki Centre, who brought their most prized Saluki hunting dogs to demonstrate their incredible hunting ability.
Artists with a passion for horses gathered at the event too, where they introduced their horse-themed pieces to the regional equestrian community. Works varied across materials, including bronze, acrylics, copper, recycled horseshoes, leather and more.
Jeert Bakker, artist at Baba Art, said: “The Dubai International Horse Fair attracts fellow equestrian enthusiasts and has given me the opportunity to share my pieces with a wide audience clearly fascinated with equestrian art as well as horses.”
Looking back at the show, Event Director Asma Al Sharif said: “The 2019 Dubai International Horse Fair and Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship presented the most all-encompassing celebration of the Middle East’s passion for equine ownership and performance yet. Once again the Fair attracted thousands of international experts and suppliers from across the global equestrian industry, the shared expertise, knowledge and innovation of whom allow us to provide the region’s leading platform for all things horses year-after-year.
“We now extend an invite to all our friends and any interested newcomers to join us for 2020.”
To find out more about the show and the 2020 event, visit www.dihf.ae.