250 falcons see action on Day 1 of championship that will see more than 3,000 birds competing
Dubai - 31, January 2023: The inaugural ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Falconry Cup’, organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), kicked off to a strong start on Monday at Al Ruwayyah desert area in Dubai
The falconry championship named after the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai will run until February 15 and has drawn formidable participation from local, regional and international falconers.
Over 250 falcons raced on Day 1 (Jan 30) of the tournament that will see more than 3,000 birds from 700 top falconers competing in the falconry championship with a total prize pool of over Dh23 million.
“Falconry (known locally as Al Qanas) is one of the UAE’s cultural symbols and the goal of the Mohammed bin Rashid Falconry Cup – formerly known as Fakhr Al Ajyal (Pride of Generations) Championship – is to preserve and promote the country’s authentic national heritage,” said Rashid Al Khasouni, HHC Director of Championships.
Day 1 race results
Adrenaline and excitement ran high as the first run of Jeer Shaheen for the General Public category was announced. A draw was held and Emirati Hamad Al-Kindi had the honour of being the first falconer to release his bird in the 400-metre race.
In the Farkh race (falcons under one year of age), Hamad bin Sheikh Majran Al-Kindi came first place with his bird ‘Muqnam’ that covered the 400-metre distance with a time of 18.143 seconds. He was followed in second place by Al-Shaaifi Muhammad Al-Khaili’s falcon ‘Kahilan’ that clocked 18.409 seconds; while Mujran bin Al-Sheikh Mujran Al-Kindi came third with falcon ‘11’ in 18.557 seconds.
In the Jirnas race (falcons over one year old), Mubarak Salem Al-Marar’s bird ‘Waqad’ came on top of the field with 17.689 seconds, followed by Rashid Saeed Al-Mansouri’s ‘Abjar’ (17.982 seconds) and Hamad bin Sheikh Majran Al-Kindi’s ‘3119 Fox’ falcon in third spot with a time of 18.046 seconds.
Obaid bin Salem bin Shamma Al Ketbi, who has been participating in various falconry tournaments for many years, said the new name of the tournament has given it a “new feel and great enthusiasm for the participating falconers.”
Fellow falconer Muhammad Khalfan also noted the importance falconry championship in providing opportunities for them to showcase their skills in UAE heritage sports.
The organising committee at HHC has completed all preparations for the tournament, including introducing the latest technology in running the event and providing support to participating falconers.
There will be a total of 100 racing rounds, with 20 rounds for the Sheikhs category, 28 rounds for the Public category, 28 rounds for the Owners (breeders) category, 10 rounds for Farkh and Jirnas falcons, 8 rounds for the Junior category, 4 rounds for Al Noukhba (Elite) category, and 2 rounds for the championship cup.
The first three finishers in the various categories will compete in Al Noukhba (Elite) races that will take place on February 14, a day before the Championship cup in the Sheikhs and Open categories on February 15.