Bahrain has successfully hosted the three-day 2017 World Arabian Horse Organisation (WAHO) General Assembly Conference which concluded last Saturday, held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. This was the second time Bahrain has hosted this conference, having done previously in 1998 and followed on from Qatar in 2014 and 2011 and Oman 2009. With all events inclusive it had launched on February6.The conference was opened with a welcoming speech by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, in the presence of HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, son of HRH the Crown Prince and Chairman of the High Organising Committee, HH Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Deputy Chairman of the High Organising Committee, members of the Royal Family, senior officials, dignitaries from the 41 participating delegations and guests.
Keynote speakers at the conference included Australian WAHO President Peter Pond, HRH Princess Alia bint Al Hussein, President of the Royal Jordanian Equestrian Federation and member of the executive committee of WAHO, General Secretary of WAHO, Jenny Lees who spoke about the most important characteristics of the Bahraini pure bred horses and the prestigious place they occupy among the horses of the world due to their quality and authenticity. Bassam Zakarnah, President of the Palestine Equestrian Federation gave an impassioned speech that was warmly applauded by the members of WAHO and expressed optimism at Palestine’s proposal to join the organisation and be accepted in the organisation.
Among important decisions that were taken were requests by China and Cuba to become full WAHO members. Aside from the three-day conference, delegates were available to partake in horse shows at various studs around the Kingdom, private visits to Arabian breeding farms and various cultural and heritage tours known as Dilmun Days to acquaint themselves of Bahrain’s history going back over 6,000 years. Rounding out the activities was the Late HH Shaikh Faisal bin Hamad Al Khalifa Arabian Horse Beauty Championship, at Bahrain International Endurance Village attended by the WAHO President and other dignitaries.The official definition of a purebred Arabian is, “A pure-bred Arabian horse is one which appears in any pure-bred Arabian Stud Book or Register listed by WAHO as acceptable.” WAHO states from its inception that it was apparent that one of the most important and most urgent objects as stated in the WAHO Constitution was to “maintain throughout the world the purity of the blood of the horses of the Arabian breed . Founded in 1970, the World Arabian Horse Organisation is a registered charity with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. There are now 82 countries affiliated as Registering Authority Members, either in their own right or in the care of a neighboring studbook authority, together with two applying member countries (China, Cuba). WAHO has the responsibility of ensuring that standards acceptable to all our Registering Authority Members are established and maintained in the matters of regulations, methods of registration and production of Stud Books.
Its basic objectives are, to preserve, improve and maintain the purity of the blood of horses of the Arabian breed and to promote public interest in the science of the breeding of Arabian horses; promote and facilitate the acquisition and distribution of the knowledge in all countries of the history, care and treatment of horses of the Arabian breed; to advise and co-ordinate the policies and activities of members of the organisation; to co-operate with any person or body of persons domiciled throughout the world in an endeavour to promote uniformity in terminology, definitions and procedures relative to the breed of Arabian horses; to act in a consultative capacity in discussion and negotiation with International, National and other authorities on matters concerning horses of the Arabian breed.
Bahrain has made its mark as a member in winning the WAHO Trophy since its inception in 2005, with Shuwaimaan Jazeel a Bay Stallion, bred by Amiri Arabian Stud of Bahrain and owned by The Royal Arabian Stud of Bahrain and of the Shuwaimaan strain in 2005 and followed in 2006 by Jellaby Balsam a Grey Stallion, bred and owned by The Royal Arabian Stud of Bahrain and of the Kuheilaan Jellaby strain.