RIYADH: The 2022 Saudi Cup has been recognized with a Guinness World Record for holding the largest prize fund in the world for a single horse race, coming in at $20 million.
“We are happy with this achievement and I would like to stress that the successive achievements of the club would not have been possible without the constant support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman,” Marwan Abdulrahman Al-Olayan, the CEO of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, said.
During the award ceremony on Saturday, the club was recognized by the Guinness World Records for the race held on Feb. 26 at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.
Al-Olayan received the award from Ahmed Bujairi, official judge of the Guinness World Records.
“I would like to extend my thanks to Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, for his constant guidance to me and my colleagues in the club, and I also congratulate all my colleagues in the club for their great efforts in achieving all the achievements of the club,”Al-Olayan said.
The 2022 Saudi Cup featured 240 horses from 16 countries that competed for a total of $35.1 million.
Prince Saud bin Salman Abdul Aziz’s horse, Emblem Road, came in first and took home the $20 million purse.
The previous award holder for the world’s largest prize fund for a single horse race was the Dubai World Cup held at the Meydan Racecourse in March 2010.
“We are very pleased with the club’s successive achievements. There is no doubt that everyone appreciates the great status of the Guinness World Records with its great history. We want to tell the world that we have a lot in Saudi Arabia to offer to serve the whole world, and that what happened in horse racing is a success added to the successes of Saudi Arabia,” Al-Olayan said.
“On myself and my colleague’s behalf, we extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to our leadership for the generous and continuous support that equestrian sport finds. The club is working under the leadership and directives of Prince Bandar ... and we still aspire for more under the directives of His Highness, me and the rest of my colleagues at the club, whom I congratulate on this award and thank for their efforts.
“(The record) was a signal to us that we are on the right path, but the journey is still long and we are always challenging ourselves to provide the best in what we are heading toward. You may notice the upward development in the Saudi Cup between 2020 and 2022 at all levels, and this means that we are determined to continue achieving success.
“We see Saudi Arabia succeed in several areas, whether it is the economy or culture,” he continued. “We just want the world to see the true picture of Saudi Arabia as it is; on the other hand, we need to put together an international race that is able to attract people from across the world. What makes us very happy is that we see this reflected in the rest of the jockey club season, which is now being influenced a lot by what is happening in the Saudi Cup, which means upgrading the whole race experience.”