Travel Oman: Horse racing, an integral part of Omani culture

Oman Sunday 13/October/2019 20:19 PM
By: Times News Service

Horse breeding has been a long-treasured passion for Omanis and has always been an interest among Arab nobility. Horse racing is a sport enjoyed by all in Oman.
“Interest in horses in Oman is one of the most cherished pastimes for the Omanis,” said the Ministry of Tourism. “Horses symbolise integrity and pride. Because of the horse’s high status and appreciation by Muslims, Oman has been famous since ancient times for raising, breeding, acquiring and caring for horses. Horse racing is a favourite pastime for Omanis. Horse races are held annually, and include the Royal Horse Race, organised by the Royal Stables, and horse racing in the Omani governorates.”
The Royal Stables come under the Royal Cavalry of Oman, which was established in the 1970s by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The Royal Stables were “issued under his wise instruction in the 1970s to establish the Royal Cavalry in order to preserve traditional horse and equestrian activities, an integral part of the Omani culture. From a few stables in Wattayah, the Royal Cavalry grew steadily and moved to the current headquarters in Al-Adiyat, Seeb. Its activities developed at home and abroad and branches were set up in Safinat, Qadihat, Shumookh stables and also France and UK.”
The Royal Cavalry helped play “an essential role in disseminating horse culture and sports among Omani people through training, racing, polo, dressage, endurance and show-jumping events. It hosted international competitions and constructed modern racecourses that safeguard riders and horses. The Royal Cavalry is proud of being a full member in a number of international horse Organisations such as the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR).”
“The Royal Horse Racing Club (RHRC) was created to be the controlling authority for horse racing in Oman,” added the Royal Cavalry. “It regulates registration of horses, owners, trainers and jockeys for racing. RHRC is a member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), and the Asian Racing Federation (ARF) and has issued regulations governing the conduct of racing in accord with relevant Articles of the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (IABRW).”