10 March 2009

VCUQatar Students Selected to Design Trophies for Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar is proud to announce that the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) has chosen VCUQatar students to design two trophies - for the Qatar Prix de lā€™ Arc de Triomphe and the Qatar Arabian World Cup ā€“ two of the most prestigious events organized by the QREC.

Officials from QREC visited VCUQatar and Sami Jassim Al Boenain, General Manager of QREC, made a full presentation to the students and the VCUQatar community about creating the designs for the trophy. VCUQatar representatives included Mr. Charles Bleick, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Ms. Kathleen Ferguson, Assistant Professor, Art Foundation and Donald Earley, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design. Mr. Al Boenain talked about the elements that could be included in the design and answered students’ queries as well. QREC will be selecting the top three designs for each trophy and providing certificates of recognition to the winners while also promoting the winners in their promotional material. QREC is also awarding a full scholarship to VCUQatar for designing these trophies.

The deadline for presenting the designs is 12 April, 2009. The designs will then be put forward to a committee at QREC comprising H. E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani, General Supervisor, Sami Jassim Al Boenain, Tarik Al Siddiqi, Technical Consultant and Patricia Musial, Event Coordinator, who will decide on the three winning designs in each category.

This isn’t the first time VCUQatar students have been called on to design for the Qatari community. VCUQatar graduate Mary Anne Skill designed the Qatar Foundation Award for Courage trophy for Oryx Quest 2005 and in 2008 VCUQatar fashion design students designed uniforms for the Qatar Symphony Orchestra.  In August 2007, VCUQatar’s Center for Research in Design was commissioned by the Doha 2016 Bid Committee to design the logo for the Doha 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Bid and the logo designed by Fatma Al Mogunni and Lejla Niksic was accepted for official use.

The inaugural edition of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was held at Longchamp Racecourse on Sunday, 3 October, 1920 and named in honor of the victorious troops who had marched triumphantly beneath the Arc de Triomphe on 14 July, 1919. Limited to 20 starters, this Group 1 race runs on turf over the classic distance of 2400m on the first Sunday in October. This intergenerational confrontation brings together the best male and female thoroughbreds aged 3 and over. Considered the most prestigious flat race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a reference throughout the world. In December 2008, QREC signed a 5 year exclusive partnership agreement with France Galop and The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe took an important step forward in partnership terms by becoming the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with prize money of € 4,000,000 making it the most richly rewarded turf race in the world.

The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, held during the first weekend of October at Longchamp, attracts around 70 000 spectators, nearly 700 media representatives from 25 countries, as well as 1 billion TV viewers worldwide. In its 2008 edition, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe received more than 18 hours of TV coverage in over 200 countries. The program of the weekend of Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe includes 15 thoroughbred races of which seven are Group 1 races and one is a Group 1 race for Pure Arab Horse - The Qatar Arabian World Cup. Last year, The Qatar Arabian World Cup was included, for the first time, in the program of the Arc Day of racing as part of the new partnership on Sunday, 5 October, 2008. With prize money of € 450,000, it became the most prestigious race for pure Arabian horses.

QREC holds similar events in Qatar including the Qatar International Equestrian Festival (QIEF). QIEF is held annually during the last week of February. It consists of the Qatar International Pure Bred Arabian Horse Show, the Qatar International Cup (a Group 1 race for thoroughbred horses with a total prize money of US$ 500,000) and the Qatar International Trophy (a Group 1 race for pure Arabian horses with a total prize money of US$ 500,000). QREC’s main racing event is H. H. The Emir of the State of Qatar Sword Day which is a Group 1 race for pure Arabian horses to be held at the end of March and this year with a total prize money of US$ 1000,000.

About QREC

The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club was founded in 1975 and H.E. Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani is presently the Chairman of Board of Directors. Located in New Rayyan , QREC has the mission of developing thoroughbred and pure Arabian horse racing events and organizing Arabian horse shows. Racing events take place each Thursday, from the end of October to the end of May. Some 200 horses train at New Al Rayyan Park. Thanks to the construction of 400 new box stalls, a veterinary clinic with the latest state of the art equipment, a horse swimming pool, a farrier unit and a club house, the QREC will become one of the most enviable horse training centers in the World.

The QREC is affiliated with many international organizations. Since 1990, the QREC has been a member of the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) whose main role is to establish and monitor purebred pedigrees and to develop relevant statistics. In 2011, Qatar will host the WAHO Conference for the first time. In addition, QREC has been a member of the European Conference of Arab Horse Organization (ECAHO) since 1994, a member of the Asian Equestrian Federation since 2001, a member of the International Federation of Arabian Horseracing Authorities (IFAHR) since 1992. Sami Jassim Al Boenain, General Manager of QREC, was elected President of IFAHR in January 2008 and he still holds this position.

Highlights of the QREC Racing Calendar:

Qatar International Equestrian Festival, late February

H. H. The Emir of the State of Qatar Sword and Trophies Festival, late March

QREC also sponsors other prestigious racing events in Germany, UK and Sweden.

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