The Katara International Arabian Horse Festival (KIAHF), being held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, began on an impressive note at Katara – the Cultural Village yesterday.
Katara is organising the festival until February 6 in co-operation with the Qatar Equestrian Federation, Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, and Qatar Foundation (QF).
Katara general manager and KIAHF Organising Committee chairman Prof Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti inaugurated the festival and opened a number of events and activities accompanying it.
These include art, book, photography and stamp exhibitions on Arabian horses from various creative perspectives, drawing on horse saddles, 3D games, and a carousel of horses.
Visitors can look forward to enjoying several equine-related art exhibitions put up by individuals and organisations.
Qatar-based auction house Al Aseel is exhibiting various equine-related works of art created by international artists.
Prof al-Sulaiti also inaugurated an exhibition organised by the Polish embassy in the presence of Janusz Janke, ambassador of Poland to Qatar. The exhibition, titled ‘Manuscript Concerning the Horses of the Orient and Those Originating from Oriental Breeds’, provides interesting equine-related contributions by Polish traveller W Seweryn Rzewuski.
The Title Show, to be held from today until February 6, is the principal event of KIAHF.
Prof al-Sulaiti said: “Our vision is to promote Qatar, a pioneer in breeding purebred Arabians, as a world-class hub for horses and equestrian sports.”
“The festival aims to promote the standing of the unique purebred Arabian breed locally, regionally and internationally.,” he said.
“The nation has previously hosted 29 international shows and championships for purebred Arabians.
“This is the first time the premier show is being hosted at Katara – the Cultural Village Foundation. The festival has attracted international interest and the global participation of horse owners and breeders.”
The Title Show features a total prize money of QR13mn.
Mohamed al-Darwish, the show’s manager, said: “Special prizes are being awarded for this festival. The ‘Legend’ award of QR3,000,000 will be awarded to the horse that wins the championship three times over a period of time.
“While the qualifying rounds will be held from February 3-5, the championship round will be held on February 6.”
A delightful time awaits equine enthusiasts and visitors, the organisers stressed in a press statement.
In order to ensure the safety of all concerned, visitors are required to follow coronavirus (Covid-19) protocols.
The festival is being held at Katara’s esplanade.
A grand closing ceremony has been planned after the final round of the championships on February 6.
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