In Qatar, Arabian horses are a big business as well as a passion. The region grows on racing, training hubs and home-grown studs among several other related businesses. Horse racing, a sport of the kings, is also a trade of the behemoths. All-conquering international stables capitalize the best breeding programmes and their owners are willing to part with millions for the privilege.
For Hassan Al Mannai, a Qatar-based equestrian industry giant, horse breeding is not just a mere passion. Hassan who was born in the land of Arabian horses was intrigued by horse riding with his family members since he was three. After gathering enough knowledge by attending several Arabian Horse Shows across the globe and upon completion of his academic career, Hassan took to the industry full time by opening his own breeding farm – Al Reeh Stud, in 2014. Situated in the heart of Qatar, the farm specializes in breeding high-quality Arabian horses. Al Reeh Stud has been recognized for its contribution at several national and international platforms.
The 32-year-old entrepreneur who obtained his management expertise from the UK amalgamated his passion for horses and his academic knowledge by bringing about a fresh wave of change in the traditional business of horse breeding in Qatar. As a result, Hassan was declared the Qatar’s representative Judge for several national and international Arabian Horse Show events in Qatar, Denmark, Italy and Russia. Last year, Hassan was elected the director of the Arabian Horse Show at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, which is a recognized full member of the prestigious European Conference of Arab Horse Organisation (ECAHO). The club organizes five Arabian Horse Show events in a year, of which two are international.
Hassan, who is representing his native land before winning the elections of the executive committee member seat of ECAHO, said: “Qatar is one of the oldest members of ECAHO and Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club wants to strengthen its bond with the European forum. As an executive member aspirant, I would like to disseminate knowledge about ECAHO to others by organizing seminars and conferences. Arabian horse breeding is not just a trade for me. I want more interested stakeholders from other countries to gain knowledge about this trade and share ideas with us to ensure the welfare of these species. I have the required skill, networking and knowledge to work as an ECAHO executive member and bring all show organizers and breeders on a single platform, and help them grow together.”
Hassan, who played a key role in organizing one of the biggest Arabian Horse Shows in his country with 350 horses participating and also an auction where he ensured a successful sale of 80 pure breed Arabian horses, takes a keen interest in food and hospitality management as well. In a bold initiative to bring the culture of Japanese delicacies and Qatar favourites on a single platter, Hassan launched Cactus Senshi, a restaurant centrally located in Qatar a couple of years ago. This was done to introduce his fellow countrymen to an exquisite experience of sushi in the local style.