RIYADH: The Saudi Falcons Club auction witnessed many successes over five nights, according to the club’s official spokesman Walid Al-Taweel, who said it has so far sold six falcons for SR645,000 ($172,000).
The third edition of the SFC auction is being held at the club’s headquarters in Malham, north of Riyadh, and will conclude on Nov. 15.
Al-Taweel told Arab News that the club seeks to encourage the participation of experienced falconers in the auction through prizes. He added that the SFC’s calendar is full of surprises, with the launch of the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival upcoming this December, an event that is highly anticipated by falconers all over the world.
The auction began with falconer Sami Al-Balawi’s peregrine Qirnas (over 1 year old) falcon being sold for SR40,000 to Ali Al-Otaibi.
Then came the competition for the second falcon, a young peregrine, who was sold for SR76,000 to Bandar Al-Enizi.
The young falcon belonged to falconers Yasser Al-Majed, Saddam Al-Banaqi and Habis Al-Hazimi.
In the Arabian Peninsula, falcons are revered as an inheritance and legacy that represents a large part of the region’s culture, and the peregrine is regarded as the most predatory bird of all falcon subspecies.
Sultan bin Towais Al-Qahtani, businessman and expert in the field of falconry, told Arab News: “The price of falcons is determined by their weight, color and characteristics, such as shoulders and legs.
“Qirnas refers to falcons over the age of 1 year old. Unlike the Qirnas, young peregrines come with a bigger price tag, just as wild peregrines are more expensive than those that are trained,” Al-Qahtani added.
The SFC aims to develop falcon auctioning in the Kingdom by preserving its cultural and economic value and welcoming falconry lovers and those interested in raising the animals from all around the world.
The club offers many advantages to falconers through its teams across the Kingdom. It provides a way to regulate and organize the buying and selling falcons in Saudi Arabia.
The club’s teams receive the owner of the falcon — also known as Al-Tarouh — in their respective region, and then provide housing and transportation for the Tarouhs to the auction house.
The falcon is then offered in a competitive, direct and fast auction that is broadcast live on television channels and SFC social media accounts without the buying and selling process being subject to any fees.
Once the sale is finalized, electronic anklets for the falcons are installed, and official documents are issued to complete the sale procedures.
The Al-Melwah race was also launched, organized by the club on Fridays and Saturdays over six weeks in conjunction with the auction.
Al-Taweel said that the Al-Melwah race aims to promote falconry, raise awareness of the importance of preserving falcons, train younger generations in the sport and enable falconers to practice their hobby.
The first day of the race, which was dedicated to the saker falcon chick category, witnessed great excitement. Six categories competed — the lanner falcon, saker falcon, peregrine falcon, gyr pure, gyr taba and gyr garmoosha — with prizes amounting to SR756,000.
Many falconers said that the Al-Melwah race encouraged them and enabled them to practice their hobby. Falconer Wadih Al-Saadi praised the club’s efforts, noting that the race has many advantages, as it breaks the stagnation period and puts falconers in the spirit of competition.
Falconer Abdullah Ghazi, who said this was his first time participating, said that Al-Melwah race is a good opportunity for falconers from all over the Kingdom to meet. He noted that the incentives offered by the club have contributed to the return of many falconers to this hobby.
Fahd Al-Hajri stressed the importance of the race at this time, saying that it helps falconers determine the readiness of their birds, especially chicks who still need to get used to racing.
Al-Hajri thanked the club for its efforts to serve falconers and preserve this ancient heritage.
The SFC allocated valuable prizes for each run of the Al-Melwah race, offered to the first five places in each run.
The first-place holder receives SR25,000, the second-place holder receives SR15,000, the third-place holder receives SR10,000, the fourth-place holder receives SR8,000 and the fifth-place holder receives SR5,000.