Doha – The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club and QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa, have signed an agreement to sponsor HH The Emir’s Sword Equestrian Festival, which will be held at the Al-Rayyan Racecourse from 20-22 February. Be means of this contract, QNB shall become the official sponsor of the festival, which witnesses widespread local and international participation and acts as a platform for the enhancement of the value and international standing of Qatari racehorses.
This agreement was announced at a press conference held on the morning of Sunday, February 9 at the Club’s headquarters, in the presence of Mr. Nasser bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, CEO of the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, and Yousef Darwish, General Manager of Communications, QNB Group, in addition to various media representatives.
This is the first time that QNB has acted as the official sponsor of this major festival in the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s calendar, for which preparations are proceeding at great speed amid great interest and anticipation to know who will receive the honour of being the title winner. The great anticipation and attention for the great race is due to its being considered the Club’s grandest event for the outstanding value it represents and the quality and level of the horses involved in it every year.
Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Mr. Nasser bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, CEO of the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, said: “HH The Emir’s Sword Equestrian Festival is the most prominent event in the Club’s calendar every season, thus the attention bestowed upon it is great, and we are working on giving it its rightful place on the world race agenda. The agreement signed today with QNB comes within this framework, by which the Bank becomes the official sponsor of the festival. This confirms the Bank’s keenness to support heritage sports and to enhance the role it plays to preserve the sport of our fathers and ancestors in a forthcoming event such as the HH The Emir’s Sword Equestrian Festival.”
Also, through this agreement, QNB will find full cooperation from the Club, and it will be the beginning of more fruitful cooperation between the two parties in the coming years, especially since the association of the Bank’s name with the festival will bring many benefits to both parties. We thank the QNB officials for their cooperation with the Club and the manner in which this agreement was conducted, in line with the desire to make the great festival a success, which supports Qatari horseracing and the achievement of their required returns.
Mr. Al-Kaabi added: “The support and care provided by QNB is not surprising, especially since the Bank seeks to support all heritage sports that reflect Qatar's culture and heritage. We expect more cooperation between the Club and the Bank in the future in a manner that guarantees the achievement of the sought benefits and contributes, through its partners of success such as QNB, to the Club’s organisation of a distinctive version of the HH The Emir’s Sword Equestrian Festival.”
We expect the festival to be packed with a lot of excitement and strong races this year, which is clear from the volume of initial registrations and keenness of horse breeders from outside Qatar to participate in the race, thus bestowing upon it an international air. We hereby wish all the owners, trainers, and jockeys a successful participation in this festival.”
For his part, Mr. Yousef Darwish, General Manager of Communications, QNB Group, said: “QNB is the foremost supporter of sports in the State of Qatar, and we are honoured to be the official sponsor of the HH The Emir’s Sword Equestrian Festival. This sponsorship is the start of another good relationship with the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, since QNB is a former supporter of this sport. We seek to continue this support that transformed the festival from a local race to an international event by attracting a number of international horses to participate. We wish the club success and progress, and we see that the festival develops annually and grows distinctively from year to year."
Mr. Darwish added: “We are looking forward to great future progress, and we are keen to be present in one of the most important events that represent the sport of our fathers and ancestors. We hope that this sport continues to exist and grow in the coming generation.”
Mr. Darwish emphasized, “the QNB brand has become one of the largest brands in the Middle East and Africa with an estimated value of $ 6 billion, and is among the world’s top brands. No local company has reached this number, and our presence among the largest brands in the world is not a small feat."
It is worth noting that the HH The Emir’s Sword Equestrian Festival will take place over the course of 3 days on the Rayyan grassy track with great participation. Many runs will be held daily for different distances and different classes of horses, according to the racing program.
The last day will be the focus of everyone’s attention, especially with the establishment of more than one run for the Al-Bidda Mile Prize, the Dukhan Sprint Cup, the Rayyan Cup for producers. There will also be runs for His Highness’ Trophy for Grade 1 thoroughbreds, the HH The Emir’s Silver Sword run for 4-year old purebred Arabian horses, HH The Emir’s Prize run for Grade 1 purebred horses aged 3 years and above, as well as the much anticipated HH The Emir’s Golden Sword 2400 m run for 4-year old Grade 1 purebred Arabian horses, with the monetary prize of one million dollars .