Dubai, 20 February 2022: Nasser bin Dalmouk Al Ketbi dominated the Professional category while Khalifa Al Shamsi and Mansour Al Nuaimi excelled in the Amateur category – all reaping big financial rewards – at the 15th Saluki Championship, organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) at Dubai’s Al Marmoom racetrack over the weekend.
Saluki racing is one of the most popular heritage sports in the region, where the best Bedouin hunting dogs put on a show of speed and stamina. Salukis came from across the UAE and GCC and the championship was divided into two categories: Amateur and Professional categories, sub-divided into male and female salukis. Races were also held in two distances – 2,500 metres and 1,000 metres.
Al Ketbi’s dominance
Nasser bin Dalmouk Al Ketbi won the first three places in the 1,000-metre Professional female Saluki race, with his greyhound “Haya” finishing in first place with a time of 56.90 seconds, followed by “Leona” in second spot at 57.40 seconds, and Tessa in third place (57.63 seconds).
He also grabbd the first and second places in the 1,000-metre Professional male Saluki run. His greyhound named “Cruz” came first with a time of 56.61 seconds, followed closely by “Rex” in second spot (58.11 seconds) while Sheikh Mohammed bin Al Murr Al Maktoum achieved third place with Saluki named “Breaking In” in (58.60 seconds).
Al Ketbi’s dominance stretched in the 2,500-metre Professional female Saluki race, where “Al-Dhaha” finished with a time of 2 minutes 33.85 seconds, followed by Hamad Khaled Al-Rumaihi’s “Diana” (2mins 34.29secs, and “Nawajs” (another Al Ketbi dog) in third spot (2mins 35.19secs)
Al-Ketbi completed his quadruple win by topping the 2,500-metre Professional male Saluki race, with “Organi” coming in first place with a time of 2mins and 34.51secs, followed with by “Hemma” (2mins 37.91secs); while Hamad Khaled Al-Rumaihi’s “Raqi”came in third place (2mins 39.77secs)
Khalifa Hamad Al Shamsi achieved first place in the 2,500-metre Amateur female Saluki race with “Bath” finishing in 2mins 34.91secs, followed by Khalifa Muhammad Al-Mohannadi’s “Jamra” (2mins 36.13 seconds) and Amer Muhammad Al-Mansoori’s “Ghaya” in third spot (2mins 36.13ecs)
Mansour Al Nuaimi won the 2,500-metre Amateur male Saluki run with his dog named “Darb” coming in firt place with a time of 2mins 38.04secs, followed by Amer Muhammad Al-Mansoori’ “Mkhabat” (2mins 40.67secs) and Juma Khater Al-Junaibi’s “Drozone” in third place (2mins 41.57secs)
Jumaa Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Saluki Championship Committee, and Rashid Al Khasouni, HHC Director of Championships, led the crowning of the winners.
Al Khasooni congratulated all the participants who trained their Saluki hard for the championship and also expressed his satisfaction over the high level of competition and cooperation among the participants.
He said: “This reflects the strong level of the competition among Saluki owners and breeders that came across the UAE and GCC.” Al Khasooni also praised the organising committee for applying the highest standards in procedures for holding the matches.
A number of participants expressed their appreciation for the efforts of HHC to hold this championship annually. Al Ain resident Amer Muhammad Al-Mansoori, who was on the podium for the second year in a row, said he always look forward to participate in the annual tournament that contributes to highlighting the traditional sport for the younger generation.
Bahraini Hamad Al-Rumaihi added the event motivates everyone from neighboring countries to attend and participate, all for the sake of camaraderie and strong competitions.
The organising committee has allocated financial prizes to the top ten finishers in each round. First place received Dh100,000; second got Dh35,000; third Dh25,000; fourth Dh20,000; fifth Dh10,000; sixth Dh9,000; seventh Dh8,000; eight Dh7,000; ninth Dh6,000 and tenth Dh5,000.