While the old year slowly comes to an end, and the new one will start soon, the shows will just continue without a break. In the middle of January, the national C-show in Ajman is held, at the end of January, a major event in Saudi Arabia is scheduled: the Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival (AKAHF), held for the third time, and six days centre around the Arab horse and reflect it's versatility.
Starting with a 100 km desert endurance race, followed by an international flat race meeting and the Al Khalediah auction, and finally, a three-day-International Show. All events will be held at the private Al Khalediah Farm of HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the creator and patron of this AKAHF festival.
The first and second International AKAHF shows had been ECAHO B-rated and had continuously improved. The ECAHO has approved an International 'A' show status for 2010. Horses from Saudi Arabia as well from all over the Middle East will participate, together with some horses invited and flown in to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to represent Europe.
The auction offers lots of approximately 50-60 horses from the Al Khalediah Stables, horses of different age, breeding, quality, and range for racing, endurance and/or showing. One of the auction horses offered you may see above, a 'black pearl'.
The endurance race starts again in the very early hours and with sunrise, and the 100 km demands a lot from the riders and horses riding for hours through the desert and heat. The vet team from the Al Khalediah horse clinic takes care of the participating horses, and are ready for any emergency. The Al Khalediah clinic and vet team are based just next door in the Al Khalediah Farm, and are well known and a highly reputed horse clinic in Saudi Arabia, available for the own horses of Al Khalediah Stables but also for outside horses.
Five flat races will be hosted at HRH Prince Khaled's own racetrack, newly built a few years ago to international standard and also inside the private Al Khalediah Farm's field,. Three first three races will be held during the afternoon, the last two will follow under flood lights.
International visitors planning to visit and attend the Al Khalediah festival need an entry visa to Saudi Arabia, available through the embassies but based upon specific rules, sponsorship and permission. Each visitor should take care to follow up and regard the customs and rules of public life, religion and society in Saudi Arabia, an Islamic country that still follows the traditional way. More information about the first and second AKAHF in 2008 and 2009 can be found in our "Shows/ Events" section, and for more information about the country and customs in Saudi Arabia see our publication in "Features".
ArabianFlashlights.com photographer, Irina Filsinger, will attend the festival with her camera, and we will obviously keep you informed with impressions and results of the AKAHF 2010.