A WORD FROM AFAC - THE FRENCH ARABIAN BREEDERS’ CHALLENGES: AN END OF SEASON RENDEZ-VOUS NOT TO BE MISSED

26.10.2018

A WORD FROM AFAC - THE FRENCH ARABIAN BREEDERS’ CHALLENGES: AN END OF SEASON RENDEZ-VOUS NOT TO BE MISSED

In the aftermath of the much vaunted Arc de Triomphe weekend, the end of October period is one of top racing for Purebred Arabians in France, and notably The French Arabian Breeders’ Challenges  which take place at Toulouse on Wednesday, October 24th.

These races were the brainchild of Jean-Luc Jardel, one of the AFAC (Association Française du Cheval Arabe de Course) founding fathers, as well as the organisation’s president for many years. He was also the driving force behind the first public auction sales for the breed. They were held at Toulouse for a two period before transferring to Saint-Cloud.

Toulouse was also the venue of the first edition of the French Arabian Breeders’ Challenges on June 29th, 2004. Since then, this event has done the rounds at Longchamp and Saint-Cloud, which staged those races for three-year-olds, before returning to Toulouse in 2011.

Initially, these races were entirely financed by AFAC but, for a few years now, other outlets have been sourced and have taken the form of different types of sponsorship and owners’ contributions.

This high profile meeting has also attracted bets throughout France on the Paris Mutuel. It is also additional proof that Purebred Arabians are, by a long chalk, those horses which are least taxing on the racing industry’s coffers. Clearly, Purebred Arabians have the ability to attract sponsors!

The big meeting at Toulouse hinges primarily around five races for Purebred Arabians and include:

4-y-o + - 1,600m - € 30,000

  • French Arabian Breeders' Challenge Poulains

 Gr. II PA -  3-y-o - 1,600m - € 45,000

  • French Arabian Breeders' Challenge Pouliches

 Gr. II PA - 3-y-o - 1,600m - € 45,000

  • French Arabian Breeders' Challenge Sprint

 Gr. II PA - 4-y-o + - 1,400m - € 45,000

The French Arabian Breeders' Challenge Classic - Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Gr. I PA – 4-y-o + - 2,200m - € 45 000) has been elevated to Group I PA status this season. The upgrade reflects its high ratings during the course of the last few seasons, and the ‘faithful’ backing of the sponsorship provided by the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Festival. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Lara Sawaya and look forward to welcoming her on the big day.

In order to have a runner in one of the four above races without paying entry fees, AFAC members can enter their yearlings for a nominal fee of 200 euros.  The entry stage for those yearlings of the 2017 cru remains open until November 30th 2018 (using the www.afac-france.com link). These entries present the advantage of being valid for life and ‘transfer across’ when a horse changes ownership.

For non-members, and those horses not entered as yearlings, it was possible to enter via France Galop (FG). Although this entry stage closed on August 31st, 2018. However, owners can supplement their horses with France Galop at a cost of 3,000 euros providing the entry is made by 11.30am on October 20th,, 2018.

The French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge is also a rendez-vous not to be missed for our members complete with its traditional draw when stallion nominations are for grabs. AFAC and Toulouse racecourse will be laying-on cocktails. Those attending will also have the privilege of taking part in the draw at a cost of 50 euros. The names of the winners, complete with the identity of the stallions in question, will be revealed very shortly.