15 April 2009

VCUQatar Announces QREC Trophy Design Winners

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) announced the VCUQatar student winners for the design of the two trophies - for the Qatar Prix de lā€™ Arc de Triomphe and the Qatar Arabian World Cup ā€“ two of the most prestigious events organized by the QREC, at a press conference on 19 April, 2009 at VCUQatar.

VCUQatar students’ designs were presented to the committee at QREC comprising H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani, General Supervisor, Sami Jassim Al Boenain, General Manager, Tarik Al Siddiqi, Technical Consultant and Patricia Musial, Event Coordinator, who decided on the three winning designs in each category. H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani presented the awards to the winners during the press conference in the presence of QREC officials, VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone and other VCUQatar officials, faculty, staff, students and media.

The winners for the design of the Qatar Prix de l’ Arc de Triomphe trophy are Noura Mohammed Al-Khulaifi in first place, Zlatan Pejdah in second, and Maryam Al-Khalifa in third place. Noura Al-Khulaifi’s’s trophy design was inspired by the Qatari Flag and Rocco French style and incorporated these elements using the nine triangles of the flag at the bottom, the fluer de lys motif in the center and a horse to crown the trophy with a sprinkling of pearls.

The winners for the design of the Qatar Arabian World Cup are Yang Soon Ju in first place, Geysa Araujo in second, and Hanin Bader in third place. Yang Soon Ju said she was motivated to integrate European and Arab cultures and brought together the Greek water vessel for the body, a coat of arms and pearl for the shell and a racing horse with the jockey to crown this trophy.

The other winning designs followed in the same vein encompassing a fusion of traditional Qatari motifs with a dash of France and the equine.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Faleh Al Thani said the competition was not easy to judge. “Thanks to the panel, the Dean and teachers, it was made easier,” he said. “All the trophy designs were beautiful, but we chose the ones that incorporated all the elements we were looking for when we made our choice,” he added. He went on to congratulate all the students who participated in the competition.

“VCUQatar continues to provide outstanding opportunities for young designers to make significant contributions to the design industry,” said Dean Allyson Vanstone. “The originality and breadth of these entries demonstrates the high degree of innovation that exists on our campus today. These students represent the design leadership of tomorrow,” she added.

Besides providing certificates of recognition to the winners, QREC is also awarding a full scholarship to VCUQatar for designing these trophies. The winners will also be promoted in QREC’s promotional material. The designs of the winners of the second and third places will be used for trophies for other competitions.

Considered the most prestigious flat race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 race, limited to 20 starters, run on turf over the classic distance of 2400m on the first Sunday in October. This intergenerational confrontation brings together the best male and female thoroughbreds aged 3 and over. In December 2008, QREC signed a 5 year exclusive partnership agreement with France Galop and The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe took an important step forward in partnership terms by becoming the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with prize money of € 4,000,000 making it the most richly rewarded turf race in the world.

The program of the weekend of Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe includes 15 thoroughbred races of which seven are Group 1 races and one is a Group 1 race for Pure Arab Horses - The Qatar Arabian World Cup. Last year, The Qatar Arabian World Cup was included, for the first time, in the program of the Arc Day of racing as part of the new partnership and with a  prize money of € 450,000, it became the most prestigious race for pure Arabian horses.

QREC approached VCUQatar students in March this year and asked them to design trophies for the two celebrated races. The deadline for presenting the designs was 12 April, 2009. 25 students from the Foundation year (first year) participated in the competition with their professors, Ms. Kathleen Ferguson, Assistant Professor, Foundation and Donald Earley, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design at hand to give them constant encouragement and support.

VCUQatar students have been called upon on several occasions to design for the Qatari community. VCUQatar graduate Mary Anne Skill designed the Qatar Foundation Award for Courage trophy for Oryx Quest 2005 and in 2008 VCUQatar fashion design students designed uniforms for the Qatar Symphony Orchestra.  In August 2007, VCUQatar’s Center for Research in Design was commissioned by the Doha 2016 Bid Committee to design the logo for the Doha 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Bid and the logo designed by Fatma Al Mogunni and Lejla Niksic was accepted for official use.

About QREC

The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club was founded in 1975 and H.E. Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani is presently the Chairman of Board of Directors. Located in New Rayyan , QREC has the mission of developing thoroughbred and pure Arabian horse racing events and organizing Arabian horse shows. Racing events take place each Thursday, from the end of October to the end of May. Some 200 horses train at New Al Rayyan Park. Thanks to the construction of 400 new box stalls, a veterinary clinic with the latest state of the art equipment, a horse swimming pool, a farrier unit and a club house, the QREC will become one of the most enviable horse training centers in the World.

The QREC is affiliated with many international organizations. Since 1990, the QREC has been a member of the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) whose main role is to establish and monitor purebred pedigrees and to develop relevant statistics. In 2011, Qatar will host the WAHO Conference for the first time. In addition, QREC has been a member of the European Conference of Arab Horse Organization (ECAHO) since 1994, a member of the Asian Equestrian Federation since 2001, a member of the International Federation of Arabian Horseracing Authorities (IFAHR) since 1992. Sami Jassim Al Boenain, General Manager of QREC, was elected President of IFAHR in January 2008 and he still holds this position.

Highlights of the QREC Racing Calendar:

Qatar International Equestrian Festival, late February

H. H. The Emir of the State of Qatar Sword and Trophies Festival, late March

QREC also sponsors other prestigious racing events in Germany, UK and Sweden.

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