The Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club (QREC) management hailed the steps being taken by Qatari jockeys for training at the world’s best available horse riding academies to sharpen their talents. These initiatives reflect the jockeys’ commitment to benefit from the highest training level in order to improve their performance and reach the stage, which will qualify them to realise their ambitions.
Abdulaziz Dharman and Saleh Al Marri with Nasser bin Sherida Al Kaabi
QREC encourage such steps with a view to creating a fine base of Qatari jockeys. QREC Board recognise the importance of having Qatari jockeys present at races to compete with the more famed and experienced international jockeys who ride in the weekly race meetings at Al Rayyan Park, which is in line with the QREC’s strategy and vision for the coming years.
The Qatari duo receiving graduation certificates
Recently, two riders, Abdulaziz Jaber Dharman, 23 years old, and Saleh Salem Al Marri, 25 years old, have undergone training at the British Racing School in Newmarket, England. However, this was not the first time for Qatari jockeys to seek professional experience as a group of them attended a training course in South Africa last year. Again, another group of five jockeys did the same earlier this year when Khalid Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Abdulla Saleh Al Yahri, Ali Khalid Al Mosallam and Abdulla Rashid Al Adgham underwent a one-month training course in South Africa. Later, jockey Abdulla Mubarak Al Maadeed attended a training course for two months in South Africa as well.
Abdulaziz and Saleh at training course
Dharman: I look forward to riding in Europe
Abdulaziz Jaber Dharman highlighted how valuable the training course in England has been. ‘I have benefited a lot and learned a great deal about horseracing’, he said, ‘The two-month course was dedicated to horse riding and racing tactics. It included a series of theoretical classes and practical sessions. We sometimes even participated in show jumping training to gain the experience of balance while riding. There were also fitness sessions. At the end of the course, Saleh and I received accredited certificates from the Academy, which helped me obtain a QREC jockey license. I will ride in races both reserved for Qatari jockeys and others involving international jockeys.
My ambition is sizeable in this field and I look forward to competing with the world’s top jockeys by gaining more experience and through continuous learning. I will join another course in England next year and then I could ride in some races there on a gradual basis. I also look forward to ride for Qatar’s leading farms and studs, including Al Shaqab Racing, Umm Qarn and Al Shahania in international races in Europe.
The QREC management have spared no effort in supporting us both before and after the training course. I would like to thank Mr Nasser bin Sherida Al Kaabi, QREC General Manager, for the valuable assistance and motivation. In the meantime, I will continue my studies for the PhD as well and I am proud that I will be a jockey with a PhD’.
Al Marri: We should convince owners of our merit
Jockey Saleh Salme Al Marri shared his colleague’s attitude. ‘Like my colleague, Abdulaziz, I would like to thank the QREC management and, in particular, Mr Nasser bin Sherida Al Kaabi’, he said, ‘Such support by QREC has been very productive for us, especially as we are the first Qatari jockeys to undergo such course in England. We hope to reach the level of some jockeys such as Faleh Bughanaim in Qatar and Frankie Dettori at the global level. We know very well that this requires plenty of patience, hard work and commitment in training as well as continuous learning. I was part of the group of jockeys who trained in South Africa last year. I can tell the mechanism of the course in England has been better in terms of dealing with more professional jockeys and the quality and quantity of the lectures and sessions we had every day. Honestly speaking, I wish priority of riding at QREC races would be given to Qatari jockeys in future. I know this will be possible only if my colleagues and I succeed in convincing horse owners and trainers of our merit and that we deserve to be the first choice.
I rode in 20 races last season and I was placed on several occasions, but I wish I would win several races. My ambitions are limitless and I wish I would reach the level of jockeys like Dettorie and Ryan Moore. I will put what I have learned from the training course into practice at the races this season at Al Rayyan Park’.