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Letters from a trip to the Middle East, part II

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Letters from a trip to the Middle East, part II

By Ewa Imielska-Hebda

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Everything good ends quickly. The performance, called the closing ceremony of the show, with which the organizers of the Katara International Horse Festival bid farewell to the guests, was absolutely unique. I do not mean only the aesthetic and artistic impressions, but also the message conveyed by this performance. The reference to history and own tradition was very clear. The invitation to the next edition of the Katara show was a beautiful accent ending the four-day show. A dynamic and at the same time tasteful performance in a truly theatrical setting, as befits one of the richest countries in the world, will certainly go down in history.

Main ring of the show, photo by Ewa Imielska-Hebda

During the break between the championships, the organizers presented a Straight Egyptian stallion Barraq El Alya from Al Waab Stud, who is the pride of their breeding, despite the fact that he is definitely different from the horses participating in the show. The stallion was shown in breeding condition, the quintessence of male strength and charisma, presented as a representative of the traditional type of horse. The local breeders are clearly aware that the currently fashionable type of show horse will be rather an episode in the centuries-old breeding of this breed, therefore, keeping the horses in the traditional type, they will always be able to return to them.

VIP sector and show arena, by Ewa Imielska-Hebda

The breeding is carried out in two parallel directions, which differ significantly in terms of tasks: the show program with the addition of international blood and the Straight Egyptian program. Arabian horse breeding in Qatar also fulfils educational purposes, bringing not only entertainment but also educational values, reminding modern society of an important element of cultural tradition, which is Arabian horse breeding.

Hanna Sztuka representing polskiearaby.com

What distinguishes the local shows from our European ones is the ubiquitous luxury, beautiful and tasteful interiors of the guest sectors and the extraordinary hospitality of the hosts, which Ziętarski was already delighted with 90 years ago, but did not reach Qatar then. Starting from Mr. Ahmed in the hotel, who coordinated the logistics, to Anu Sharma, the international media supervisor, who took care of every detail and pampered the guests. Especially endearing that she does it with a disarming smile, and says goodbye until next year.
The events accompanying the Katara Cultural Village show attracted crowds of visitors, but people keep a covid distance and the staff discreetly points to the need to wear masks at all times. Entry to the show area is possible only after presenting the green code on the application and this applies to all those present, including VIPs. Along the boulevard surrounding the show, there are stands with souvenirs, local products, real oily perfumes, as well as equestrian equipment and works of art. What is especially interesting is the total lack of “Chinese” plastic. On the other hand, there are numerous stands with books and educational games for children. The exhibition, organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Qatar, devoted to the manuscript of Emir Rzewuski, fits perfectly with the organizers’ intentions. A nice touch during the break between the junior and senior championships was the auction of works of art and a beautiful catalogue prepared for this occasion, with 10 items, including paintings, ceramics and sculpture. The total revenue from the sale of 9 items was $ 186,500. The auction itself, carried out extremely professionally just like the earlier horse auction on January 29, took about 30 minutes.

Katara Cultural Village, by Arabian Essence

All the experience of the show requires a separate article coming soon. Leaving this beautiful place behind, where the smell of the sea, stables and cardamom mixed in an unusual way, we hope to meet this beautiful country at the next edition of the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival.

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