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

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.”


Gerard Butler talks family and high-octane action films

Updated 30 September 2020

Gerard Butler talks family and high-octane action films

LOS ANGELES: Hollywood’s latest disaster movie offering, “Greenland,” sees humanity threatened by a comet on a collision course with Earth — Arab News sat down with stars Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin to find out more about the high-octane film.

While many disaster movies focus on experts in big-picture attempts to stop the disaster, “Greenland” keeps the stakes personal by following the Garrity family as they journey to find shelter before it’s too late.

“This story is so relatable because this guy, he’s not a Secret Service agent. He’s not a superhero,” Butler said of his character, John Garrity. “He’s just a dad and he’s not even a perfect dad.”

“Greenland” follows the Garrity family as they journey to find shelter before it’s too late. Supplied

As meteorites decimate cities and people give in to panic, the estranged Garrity family grows closer, mirroring Butler’s real-life relationships with his parents, who despite having not seen him in months due to COVID-19 restrictions, are still just as doting as ever. 

“It’s very sweet that they still care and you’re still their little boy,” Butler said, adding that he mined his relationship with his parents for insight on how to play a caring father. “That definitely helped me in the role, to play that father who will do anything in these trying times to try and protect his family in the midst of this craziness.”

The film was directed by Ric Roman Waugh. Supplied

And while their characters were growing closer, the actors formed a tight knit group as well. Co-star Morena Baccarin told Arab News that she coached and comforted the actor playing the family’s young son — Roger Dale Flloyd — and that she and Butler became good friends on set.

“There are days where you’re just so tired and you’re not in the mood or you don’t want to put yourself through the ringer emotionally,” Baccarin — who plays estranged wife Allison Garrity — said, adding “we just could check in with each other and be there for each other and that was really nice.”

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, the film has faced repeated delays in the US, but has already hit the big screens in some international markets — including Saudi Arabia and the UAE — where COVID-19 regulations have been amended.