Are you an equestrian enthusiast? If so you’ll want to mark your calendar for this event.
Numerous local and international visitors flocked to the Katara waterfront to witness the finest purebred Arabian horses in person at the third Katara International Arabian Horse Festival (KIAHF).
During the opening ceremony, Prof. Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, general manager of Katara, said that the event had strengthened the genuine tradition of Qatari equestrian sport.
“The Katara International Arabian Horse Festival has become a milestone and a distinctive mark within the series of Katara festivals and its activities throughout the year. KIAHF is presented in a more distinctive way, befitting the ancient history of Qatar and enriching the authentic heritage of Qatari equestrian sport,” he said.
“Since the festival launch, we have set clear goals that we have strived to achieve. In addition to preserving our authentic heritage, there have been efforts to make this festival among the most famous international horse show festivals.”
He emphasised that the horse festival had also made Qatar the centre of the world for the purest and most expensive Arabian horse auctions.
Horses have long been a significant part of Gulf culture, and thousands of people take extreme pride in showcasing their top-tier horse collections to the public. Horse prices can easily reach one million dollars, depending on the breed and its characteristics.
Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Abdullah Al Farhan Al Saud, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Qatar, and Najeeb bin Yahya Al Balushi, the ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Qatar, paid official visits to Qatar on the first day of the festival.
The event’s main stage and booths are inspired by Bedouin-style canopies, one of its distinguishing features.
The festival will include various programmes that promise a one-of-a-kind experience for all viewers, including what’s being described as a majestic Arabian Peninsula Horse Show until February 4, an Arabian Horse Auction on February 6, and a Title Show from February 8 to 11.
The festival’s prize pool is a whopping QAR 17,083,500.
For this year, 18 countries are participating in the event, up from 11 the year before. The nations include those from Europe, the Arab world, and the United States.
A panel of judges will evaluate the classes, rotating in groups of nine. Horses will be judged based on five criteria, including type, head and neck, body and top-line, legs, and movement.
Meanwhile, the ‘finest’ auction aims to provide horse owners, breeders, and equine enthusiasts the opportunity to purchase superior purebred Arabian horses.
In addition, there are ongoing live painting demonstrations and daily art exhibits that showcase the magnificent sport of equestrianism.
The festival has developed into a venue for artists from around the world to showcase their talents and creations over the course of the event.