Two Breeders Cup winners in one day? All in a day's work for Jordan/Dubai royal owner Princess Haya. (FEI photo)
By Fran JurgaPublished 25 October 2008 on The Jurga Report
On both sides of the Atlantic today, royal horsewomen felt the intense pleasure and the equally intense pain of being part of the horse sport scene.
For Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, it meant having your name in the headlines for a new sport. Widely known as the president of the Federation Equestrian Internationale (FEI), which is the world governing body of equestrian sports for the Olympics and other international competitions, Princess Haya is equally famous as the wife of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and as the daughter of the late king and queen of Jordan.
As if that weren't enough to keep her busy, she is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the ruling body of the Olympics, and also Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, which include Dubai.
Add another jewel to Princess Haya's crown: On the program today at California's Santa Anita Racecourse, Princess Haya is listed as the owner of two lightning-fast Thoroughbred racehorses, Donativum and Raven's Pass.
Trained by John Gosden, Raven's Pass slipped into the USA as an unknown and went off as a bit of a longshot, in spite of his impressive record as a turf mile specialist at home in Europe. To American racing fans, he will always be remembered as the spoiler who beat the great American horse Curlin on his home ground. They will forget that Curlin finished fourth, not second, to Raven's Pass. They will only remember that Raven's Pass flew in and stole a race that should have gone to the Great American.
And there's more: Also winning in Princess Haya's name was Juvenile Turf victor Donativum, a mere two-year-old.
Not bad for a woman who is usually seen at a three-day event or a jumping show. Princess Haya is a graduate of Oxford University. She was the first Arab woman to compete internationally and at the Olympics in equestrian sports when she represented Jordan in show jumping.
Click here to learn more about Princess Haya and her glamorous but hard-working horse-centric life.