Endurance, in-hand showing and racing will come together to form the first Arabian International Horse Festival at Fontwell Park racecourse in West Sussex (14-15 June).

In the words of the organisers, the festival will “celebrate the glory of the Arabian horse”.The brainchild of corporate financier Amjed Al-Jaffery, the event could draw crowds of 25,000 and is expected to be the largest gathering of Arabian horses in Europe.

Tony Rogers, president of the Arab Horse Society, said: “It is a welcome addition to the calendar – I am very supportive. These events have beenhappening separately and to put them all together is a first – it will expose the Arabian to a wider audience.

“Having experienced people in each discipline [show horse breeder Andy Letsch, the Arabian Racing Organisation’s Charlie Corbett andEndurance GB’s John Hudson] will ensure that it meets the standards necessary to be a success.”

The 160km FEI three-star endurance ride presents riders with a last chance to qualify for September’s European Championships while racing prize-money is to be in excess of £20,000.

An International Arabian Horse Show has been held in Britain since 2001, attracting entries from as far afield as Australia. This is to be incorporated into the festival as the only “B” grade Arab show in Britain.

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