Horse Racing in Bahrain is an important part of the culture that comes with its heritage. The love for equestrian perfection is something akin to the love most westerners have with their sports teams only with more passion on a personal level. The practice of husbandry is something well known to the Arabic culture which influenced Bahrain’s culture as well. In the west, most people adhere to the belief that dogs are man’s best friends. However, man’s best friend for the Bahraini people is found in horses which can carry a passenger as well as some cargo at reasonable speed.
Before the age of internal combustion, engines were the only things that would alleviate man power and allow for greater amounts of work to be done. A horse was the fastest ride on dry land, which made them akin to sports cars and formula one race cars of today. In fact, one of the most prestigious Italian car manufacturers in the world known for supreme craftsmanship and speed uses horses in their logo. Due to the thrill and the power that came with owning a horse, many affluent people would try to find the best blood lines to breed the best racing horses.
Bahrain’s historical records can trace their love for these creatures to more than 4,000 years ago during the Dilmun civilization. Dilmun is the name of the empire that once occupied the Bahrain archipelago in the distant past that most Bahrainis identify with as their forefathers. Seals that bear the images of horses have shown the importance of such creatures to the culture. Horses were of great importance due to the power and prestige one could get from owning a single purebred horse. Horses could be ridden into battle or raced at break neck speed. Some husbandry trainers have even professed the greater love they have for their horses over their children in their writings.
Bahrain’s husbandry lineage can be traced back to five Arabian thoroughbreds; Dhahma, Koheila, Obeyah, Shuwaimeh, and Saqlawieh along with the Arabian Amiri stud. From these five founding stocks, 21 specific strains of purebred race horses are still recognized by the Anglo-Arabo Sardo (AAS) to this day. The blood that pumps through these high speed thoroughbreds is the same blood as those that were bred by the expert husbandry of the Bahraini of the past. These horses are known around the world for their unyielding stamina and refined strength.
To this day, one can witness the raw power delivered by some of the finest examples of Bahraini equestrian husbandry in the Sakhir Race course. This course also has grandstand seats to accommodate as many as 3,000 spectators and fans of the sport. The horses that go around the oval at this track are some of the finest examples of equestrian lineage of today. Their raw power is something to truly ponder upon, and perhaps even put some money on. There is nothing more exhilarating than watching man and beast working together to harness true power and speed which is what one will see when watching horse racing in Bahrain