RIYADH: The rich history of the Arabian horse in the Kingdom will be on display at the Ubayyah festival in Diriyah from Nov. 28.
The horse festival will continue until Dec. 2 at Diriyah’s international equestrian resort.
Ubayyah’s supreme organizing committee on Wednesday announced the details of the event, which will be held in partnership with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority.
Prince Salman bin Faisal bin Salman, vice chairman of the supreme organizing committee, Talal Kansara, head of the strategic management sector at DGDA, and Abdulrahman Al-Rajhi, owner of the international equestrian resort, shared the details in a press briefing.
“A common goal that we at DGDA shared with the supreme organizing committee of the Saudi Arabian horse festival is to shed light on Diriyah and the history of the First Saudi State in all its aspects,” said Kansara.
He added: “The Arabian horses represent a very important part of the history of Diriyah. Ubayyah horses were the best ambassador resembling the rich history of Diriyah and the First Saudi State.”
The inaugural ceremony on Nov. 28 will be followed by the Pride of Diriyah horse auction. More than 30 rare purebred Arabian horses will showcased and sold, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
The festival will also host an international championship for purebred Arabian horses, which begins on Nov. 30 under the supervision of the King Abdulaziz Center for purebred Arabian horses.
An elite crew of international judges will measure the performance of more than 200 purebred Arabian horses, with over SR1 million ($266,000) in prize money on offer.
The championship will continue for three days before a winner is decided.
“The purebred Arabian horse, since the establishment of the First Saudi State, as well as the Second Saudi State, has been the most important horse breed, and today, with great pride, we say Ubayyah is finally back home in Diriyah,” said Prince Salman.
The festival will mix equestrianism and authentic Saudi heritage in a bid to host a modern local festival that could be presented globally in the future.
With the support of the Ministry of Culture, several activities will be held for the first time at the festival, including the cinematic show “Qumra,” the cultural salon “Beit Ubayyah,” as well as special horse shows.
There will also be music shows, a horse-riding arena and other activities in the Al-Qamra, Suhail, and Al-Thuraya areas, which open their doors daily to visitors from 4 p.m.