BUDAPEST, 29th April 2016 (WAM) – The HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is all set to break new ground when Babolna in Hungary stages the FEI Central European Endurance Cup 2016 international endurance rides on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

The historic venue of Babolna forms the back-drop for a CEI Three star 160-km ride, a CEI Two-star 120-km Open ride, a CEI Two star 120-km ride for Juniors and Young Riders and two 80km rides, all FEI rides that will be held under the umbrella of the Festival under directions of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Riders from France, Poland, Austria, Czech Rep, Romania, Croatia, China, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Serbia and the host country Hungary will be taking part in the rides.

The 160-km Open ride will be run in five stages of 40kms, 20kms, 40kms, 20kms, 20kms and 20kms while the 120-km rides will be run in four stages of 40kms, 20kms, 40kms and 20kms. The two 80-kms rides will be over 40kms, 20kms and 20kms.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said, “We are glad to bring the Festival’s events to Hungary and to this area where the rides are held which has for over two hundred years been known for its Arabian horses and Arabian breeding.”

“His Highness Sheikh Mansour has always directed us to take the sport of Purebred Arabian horses all over the globe and that is why we are here in Babolna, Hungary,” Ms Sawaya said.

“Endurance as a sport in still growing in this part of Europe and we hope that by supporting these rides the number of Purebred Arabian horses increase in numbers,” she said.

According to the organizers, it was in the year 1836 the famous stallion Shagya was brought to Babolna from Syria and his progenies are still valued in many countries even today.

The history of the stud yard commanders notes that the most notable was Fadlallah el Hedad Mihaly, who came from far away Syria to Hungary in 1857, driven by his love for horses, where he found a new home, and later he became, stud yard commander.

One of the stud yard commanders were Pettk?-Szandtner Tibor, the founder of modern coaching, he was also the leader of the Egyptian king’s stud after the II World War.

The present Arabian stud farm in Babolna has 268 horses; the core consists of 19 stallions and 51 breeding mares. Babolna is a traditional breeding centre for Purebred Arabian horses.

Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club said “the competitions will be a great experience and it will give us the chance to experience the terrain and challenges in this part of the world.”

Babolna Stud Director Balazs Berci said, “We are very thankful to HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support to our endurance rides. Hungary has a long-standing history of breeding Purebred Arabian horses and we are confident that such support will further boost the Arabian racing here in Hungary.”

The HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.