Arab Press

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Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022

Ubayyah horse festival to showcase Saudi equestrian heritage

Ubayyah horse festival to showcase Saudi equestrian heritage

A horse festival launched in Riyadh on Monday will bring together more than 350 horses to make it the largest international gathering of horses in the region.
Ubayyah in Diriyah takes place on Jan. 10 and runs for eight days at the International Equestrian Resort, under the patronage of Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

The festival, in partnership with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, aims to showcase the beauty of purebred Arabian horses to the world, as part of the Kingdom’s cultural initiatives for Vision 2030.

“This festival is about highlighting the harmony between man and horse, and through different activities and shows, demonstrate how the horse has played a strategic role in aiding our founders to expand and conquer these lands,” said Prince Salman bin Faisal bin Salman Al-Saud, chairman of the festival’s higher committee. “We want our youth and our guests to know and cherish the deep value they have in the Kingdom.”

He said the festival aimed to take place at least once a year, every year, as the horse played a significant role in preserving the Kingdom’s identity. He hoped that the festival, using modern ways, would evoke the emotions that tied locals back to their forefathers.

Horse-riding shows will be staged to illustrate the harmony between humans and horses, along with cavalry shows. The festival will also include art competitions, live music, shops and restaurants, and many other events including the Ubayyah Experience, similar to the dining, wellness and hospitality concept of Sadu Escape in AlUla.

The most prominent event will be the International Championship for Purebred Arabian Horses, expected to take place on the third day of the festival, with the participation of 350 horses from different Arab countries and prizes worth more than SR2 million ($532,730).

The name of the festival comes from a famous stallion that belonged to the founder of the Kingdom, King Abdulaziz.

Visitors attending the opening will experience a horse auction called the Pride of Diriyah containing rare, purebred Arabian horses, with some of the proceeds going to charity.

They will also have the chance to see direct descendants of famous horses that were owned by Imam Faisal and King Abdulaziz, as well as taking advantage of a horse-riding area for all ages.

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