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25/03/2017 - 21:20hs

Arab horses race on Community Day

In celebration of March 25th, the Arab Chamber sponsored a race of the breed at the São Paulo Jockey Club. The race’s winner was Heron HVP, ridden by Everton Pereira.

São Paulo – After the opening of exhibition “Arts and Crafts in the Arab World” at São Bento subway station, the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce sponsored, on Saturday (25) afternoon, an Arab horse race at the São Paulo Jockey Club, located in Cidade Jardim, a neighborhood in the south region of São Paulo.

Rodrigo Rodrigues

In the middle, Crispin receives the trophy from Rubens Hannun

The Arab Chamber’s president, Rubens Hannun, handed the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce Classic trophy to Nielce Crispin, manager of Agropecuária dos Pinheiros, located in Indaiatuba, 110 km from São Paulo, and owner of Heron HVP, the horse that won the race, ridden by Everton Pereira.

“The race is part of the celebrations of Arab Community Day in Brazil,” said Hannun, referring to March 25th. “The Arab horses also represent the community very well,” he added.

Before the race, there was a parade, with the animals and jockeys dressed in Arab attires. Just like the exhibition in the subway, the Chamber’s goal is to show different sides of the Arab culture.

“In the subway, we offered to the population a small part of this culture, one that many people still don’t know. Here (at the Jockey Club), we are celebrating with our directors,” said Hannun.

Former Arab Chamber president and creator of the initiative Marcelo Sallum added that the organization’s support to competitions involving the breed is a way to promote the Arabs’ traditions and history.

Rodrigo Rodrigues

A parade with traditional attire took place before the race

“The Arab horse breed is well adapted to Brazil and has improved a lot, and it’s very important for the Chamber to always be involved in all kinds of events, thus nothing better than holding a race on March 25th,” said Sallum.

A horse breeder and owner of the horse that came in second in the race, Paulo Saliba says that the Jockey Club holds two races of the breed per month. “People like new things so these races draw attention,” he said. “Currently, there are Arab horse races in 20 countries,” he pointed out. His animal is named Marei Rach and was ridden by Valdir Souza.

He said that in May, on the day of the São Paulo Grand Prix – the main event of the year at the Jockey Club – there will be an Arab horse race, the Jamil Saliba Prize, a tribute to his father. A former Arab Chamber president, Saliba passed away in 2015. “I hope that it [Arab horse racing] continues to grow, with the races becoming more and more popular,” he said.

In attendance at the race and at the lunch offered by the Arab Chamber were the dean of the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben, who is also Palestine’s ambassador in Brazil, the CEO of the Arab Chamber, Michel Alaby, the president of the organization’s Management Council, Walid Yazigi, and the Chamber’s vice presidents Adel Auada (Management) and Ruy Carlos Cury (Foreign Trade), and directors Sílvia Antibas, Daniel Hannun and Mohamed Abdouni.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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