The horse whisperer: Meet Ibrar Al-Oubeissy, first female Saudi trainer

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Ibrar Al-Oubeissy had nine horses in nine years. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Ibrar Al-Oubeissy had nine horses in nine years. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Ibrar Al-Oubeissy had nine horses in nine years. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Ibrar Al-Oubeissy had nine horses in nine years. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Ibrar Al-Oubeissy had nine horses in nine years. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 16 April 2018
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The horse whisperer: Meet Ibrar Al-Oubeissy, first female Saudi trainer

  • But perseverance and hard work allowed me to reach this level: Al-Oubeissy

Saudi Arabia’s first female horse trainer has a special interest in showjumping — no surprise given the hurdles she has faced on her path to success.

Ibrar Yassin Al-Oubeissy’s passion for animals, especially horses, led her to become the Kingdom’s first trainer.

“I had to overcome many obstacles, as I didn’t receive any encouragement. But perseverance and hard work allowed me to reach this level,” she told Arab News.

She decided to become a trainer after being angered by the cruel treatment of horses by some handlers, who were only interested in financial gain. “Horses became a big part of my life — I had nine horses in nine years, and took part in many championships,” she said. 

Al-Oubeissy’s qualifications allow her to train male and female jockeys for international championships.

She remembers every horses she owned, and each taught her a different lesson. The saddest was a few years ago when she lost a horse at a championship, just two months after buying it. “I will never forget that moment when it fell in front of me. It really affected me,” she said.

Al-Oubeissy has nurtured a strong bond with the equestrian world. “I will never abandon this — this is my life.”


What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

Updated 19 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

In the years after 1945, a flood of US advisors swept into Latin America with dreams of building a new economic order and lifting the Third World out of poverty. 

These businessmen, economists, community workers, and architects went south with the gospel of the New Deal on their lips, but Latin American realities soon revealed unexpected possibilities within the New Deal itself, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

 In Colombia, Latin Americans and US advisors ended up decentralizing the state, privatizing public functions, and launching austere social welfare programs. By the 1960s, they had remade the country’s housing projects, river valleys, and universities. 

They had also generated new lessons for the US itself. When the Johnson administration launched the War on Poverty, US social movements, business associations, and government agencies all promised to repatriate the lessons of development, and they did so by multiplying the uses of austerity and for-profit contracting within their own welfare state.