The sport of kings is a global affair, with horse racing fans enjoying the performance of thoroughbreds that compete around the world. The Dubai World Cup is a relatively modern addition to the annual equestrian calendar that takes place on the last Saturday in March. The event is one of the richest in horse racing and came about as part of continual development of the sport in the United Arab Emirates. After the first Dubai World Cup in 1996, the sport continued to evolve, with a new impressive racing facility.
Origin of the Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup has its origin in horse racing events organised by the office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The first thoroughbred race meeting in the Emirates took place in 1981 on a dusty camel tack. The event consisted of three races: a sprint, mile, and mile and a half. One of the highlights of this opening race was the appearance of some of the legendary stars of horse racing, including British jockeys Willie Carson and Lester Piggott.
Establishment of the Dubai Racing Club
It was not until 1992 that the Dubai Racing Club was established. The first chairman was UAE Air Force commander Colonel Ali Khamis Al Jafleh. The inauguration took place at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, a 2,200-metre left-handed dirt race track and turf course, which opened in 1986.
Establishment of the Dubai International Jockeys' Challenge
A limit to the free movement of horses to the United Arab Emirates in 1993 led to the organisers rethinking the sport of horse racing in Dubai. While the thoroughbred horses are typically the real stars, the Dubai Racing Club had to pluck for the second best option in order to keep the sport going, that is, the jockeys.
This led to the Dubai International Jockeys' Challenge, with the inaugural event once again held at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. An invited group of five pairs of jockeys represented Australia, Europe, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. This event paved the way for the Dubai World Cup.
The first Dubai World Cup
The inaugural Dubai World Cup took place in 1996 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. The winner was superstar American horse, Cigar, ridden by American Hall of Fame jockey, Jerry Bailey. Cigar was a two-time Horse of the Year and had a spectacular career, with 16 consecutive wins and earnings of nearly $10 million USD. The success of such a famous horse raised the profile of the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai World Cup on the world stage.
Evolution of the Dubai World Cup
A new racecourse completed in 2010 became the spectacular new home for the Dubai World Cup. The first winner at the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse was Gloria de Campeao, the event's first Brazilian champion, ridden by jockey Richard Hills from Newmarket in the United Kingdom. Gloria de Campeao was a huge star in international racing, running in three consecutive Dubai World Cups.
Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse
The Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse is an impressive facility that offers luxury to both horses and racing enthusiasts in its state-of-the-art structure. As of 2014, it is the largest integrated racing facility in the world. It spans 1.5 kilometres and has a crescent-shaped roof covered in solar panels.
The venue offers seating for 60,000 spectators. It provides a 2,400-metre turf track and a 1,750-metre dirt track, in addition to stables, receiving barns, and all-weather training tracks. Visitors can stay at the trackside five-star hotel and get signed photos from the jockeys or use Dubai travel guides to see the best that the Emirates have to offer when the races are over.
How to buy horse racing products on eBay
Although horse racing in Australia dates back to the early years of settlement, it was not until the 1990s that the Dubai World Cup brought the world's view to the United Arab Emirates. To find horse racing products on eBay, use the search box located on every page. Enter key phrases, such as "horse racing books" or "horse riding saddle", and browse the results. You can find whatever you need, whether you admire the thoroughbreds that take part in the Dubai World Cup, or just need horse riding gear to help you to enjoy your love of equestrianism.