RIYADH: The Riyadh Purebred Arabian Horse Festival, Jawadi, kicked off Tuesday at the Al-Duhami Equestrian Center in Diriyah governorate, showcasing 347 breeds of the animals.
The five-day festival has SR1 million ($266,000) in prizes on offer. The competitions over the course of the event include the first Saudi Breeders Cup and the Saudi Production Champions Cup. They have both been organized by the Arabian Horse Organization and supervised by the King Abdulaziz Center for Purebred Arabian Horses.
The festival area reflects traditional Najdi architecture and brings together riders, artists and enthusiasts for competitions, folk dances, workshops, lectures, arts and crafts, local and international food, perfumes and sandals.
Azaam Al-Qasim, an equestrian and horse trainer taking part in the festival, told Arab News that the beauty competition would showcase the pedigree of the animals brought by local and international participants.
He said Arabian equestrians, and their horses, are differentiated by their capability and determination, which has served to attract many to the sport in the Kingdom.
Rana Mohammed, an artist who has her paintings of horses on display at the festival, told Arab News: “Horses are my passion, and the more I paint artwork of horses the more I discover more details about them, and I spend more time mastering these details.”
Faisal Al-Shamsan, a visitor, said the horse competitions in a traditional village setting with food and music was “all great.” He also enjoyed watching traditional dancing with his family.
The festival is part of the offerings of Riyadh Season, organized by the General Entertainment Authority. It is open from 3 p.m. until 12 midnight and runs until Dec. 3.