[Dubai – United Arab Emirates, February 02, 2016] The Fakhr Al Ajyal (‘The Pride of the Generation’) Championship for Falconry Telwah, which is organized and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), got underway next to Emirates Road in the Al Ruwayyah area of Dubai on Monday.
Yesterday’s action saw the Sheikhs compete in the first four of 12 categories between now and Sunday (February 7th), namely the ‘Qarmoosha Farkh,’ ‘Qarmoosha Jernaas,’ ‘Jeer Tibha Farkh’ and ‘Jeer Tibha Jernaas.’
The top 10 birds in each classification duly qualify for the Telwah Final next Tuesday (February 9th), when the fastest five falcons will ultimately make it through to the two ‘Super Finals’ (‘Al Nukhba Farkh’ and ‘Al Nukhba Jernaas’) 48 hours later.
They will then be joined there by the finest feathered quintet from the previous Falconry Telwah tournament held at the very same venue only last month and the quickest ‘Farkh’ and ‘Jernaas’ Super Finalists will win Dh500,000 and a top-of-the-range Bentley for his or her connections. The same qualification procedure will be repeated across the other falconry categories for the Sheikhs and the general public over the next six days.
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, said: “Having attained a very high standard at the prior tournament last month, we now want to bring together the very best of the best to determine a clear champion of champions in the ‘Farkh’ and ‘Jernaas’ categories for this 2016 season here in the UAE. We believe these two Super Finals – and the prizes associated with them – have captured the imagination of the participating falconers competing here and this tournament underlines the UAE’s status as the foremost frontrunner in falconry worldwide.”
One interested onlooker at the initial proceedings was Jeff Rossey, a falcon breeder from Washington State in the United States of America. Rossey has pursued his dream of flying falcons ever since a broken back sustained in a car accident in 1988 left him in a wheelchair. Undeterred, he has subsequently carved out a career for himself as a falcon breeder for the last two decades or so and that has seen him produce racing birds for the YLS team here in this country of late.
He was suitably impressed by the times clocked by the falcons on show yesterday and those dynamic displays have given him food for thought in terms of his own operations back home.
“This is very competitive,” Rossey admitted. “The distance from taking the number one slot compared to the number two slot might be just about what it takes you to blink. These birds are like athletes in peak condition. It does make you go home and re-think and wonder how you can take your programme up to the next notch because this is a whole lot more competitive than just taking your falcon out and catching a duck or a pheasant. It’s more time-sensitive and all of these guys want that number one spot very badly. Nobody wants second place.”
Rossey’s friend, Michael ‘Mike’ Billingsley, was equally as effusive about the speedy spectacle, adding: “Being able to come over here and see these desert birds is amazing and when you come to a new place in the world and you get all different groups of species and birds to watch, it’s fascinating. It is very interesting to see how they live and what they live on.”