Dubai, February 23, 2020: In a thrilling finish, the salukis by Nasser Obaid bin Dalmook Al-Ketbi dominated the Saluki Championship, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), held on Saturday at Dubai’s Al Marmoum racetrack.
A total of 60 salukis (race hounds) have qualified in the championship stage, which saw a total of six races – two heats in the 1 km race and four races covering a distance of 2.5km – for the male, female, amateur and professional categories.
Salukis are Bedouin hunting dogs that can run up to 65kmph and were used to hunt rabbits and gazelles in the olden days.
A large number of enthusiasts and spectators of the traditional sport witnessed the Saluki race, which is one of the traditional Emirati sports aimed at safeguarding the cultural heritage of the country and to motivate the present generation to preserve and promote the UAE’s cultural and social heritage.
The biggest winners were the Salukis owned by Nasser Obaid bin Dalmook Al-Ketbi’s who finished first place in a total of three races, including the 1km race for both male and female professional categories plus the male professional category for the 2.5km race.
His Saluki named ‘Bailey’ finished first place in the 1km male professional race with a time of 58.424 seconds; followed closely by “Flow” in second place with a time of 58.432 seconds, and third, came “JT GT” at 59.076 seconds.
Another Saluki by Al Ketbi named Kamala finished first in the 1km female professional race with a time of 57.464 seconds; followed by “Pinky” in second place at 57.467 seconds; and third came “Swoopy Baby” at 57.755 seconds.
Meanwhile, “Barq” ranked first in the male professional 2.5km race with a time of 2.42 minutes; followed by “Double Water” (2.43 minutes) and “Waddah” in third (2.46 minutes).
Al-Ketbi said his success was achieved thanks to the support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, through the NAS stable, which participates every year in the race.
He said: “We are satisfied with the results and we look forward to achieving more victories in the coming years”.
In other races, “Najdah” won first place in the 2.5km professional female race; Abdel Majeed Al-Mawled’s entry in the amateur 1km race won first place while the Saluki by Saeed Hareb Al-Saadi also won first place in another 2.5km male race.
Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of the HHC, said: “Saluki Championship is one of the most important and prestigious events in the country, attracting large numbers of residents and tourists.”
This year’s Saluki Championship has also introduced an innovation for the first time, a robotic gazelle was used and was chased by the Salukis to test their stamina, speed and hunting capabilities.