The King Abdulaziz Horse Championship will rival the Kentucky Derby in size and attract competitors from the US, the UK and Japan, the government’s General Sports Authority said late on Tuesday, without revealing when the first championship would be held.
Riyadh is keen to develop its sports industry as part of reforms to diversify the economy beyond oil exports and create a more modern, dynamic society.
The horse championship was a way for the desert kingdom to share its “historic and cultural legacy” with the world, the sports authority said in the statement.
Last year’s Dubai World Cup offered a $10-million prize for its top race, although media reported prizes for the entire event totalled $30 million. The 2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in Florida had a $16-million purse.