The Saudi Cup was revealed for the first time last night during a dramatic event at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. The cup will be awarded to the winner of the world’s richest horse race ($20 million) being staged at King Abdullah Aziz racecourse on Saturday. International Venue Management (IVM) was responsible for organisation of the stunning event, which attracted nearly 500 guests.

VIP visitors included members of the Saudi and Bahraini Royal Families and well- known faces from the world of horse racing, including trainers John Gosden, Bob Baffert and Steve Cauthen, as well as international jockeys. They were treated to a memorable welcome from Dhwari, a traditional Saudi Bedouin troupe who performed a spectacular set in front of the museum.

Dhwari perform at the Saudi Cup unveiling

Global Ambassador for the Saudi Cup Harry Herbert told guests: “When Prince Bandar told me what he was planning to organise in just nine months, I was in disbelief. But here we are in Riyadh today on the eve of the world’s richest horse race. What has been achieved in such a short space of time is incredible.” 

Guests were then invited into the museum for dinner to sample the delicious treats prepared by top chefs from Absolute Taste. A spectacular show, staged by global experience company, Imagination. Imagination worked with internationally renowned Sand Artist Anna Strelkova to tell the story of Saudi Arabia through the spirit of the Arabian horse. The show saw historical and artistic moments recreated in sand celebrating the heritage of Saudi Arabia including rock art from 9,000 years ago to the three founding thoroughbreds to King Abdul Aziz. The show culminated with a dynamic reveal of the house of Garrard Saudi Cup.

A sand artist portrait by Anna Strelkova

Imagination also collaborated with Saudi Fashion designer Arwa Al Ammari, founder of award winning brand ArAm and ambassador of the Arab Fashion Council, to curate an equestrian inspired fashion show. The show took place in the garden of the museum and started with a choreographed dream-like horse puppet performance and then transitioned into a stunning fashion show inspired by Saudi Arabian culture with a modern twist. The show gave a glimpse into the Saudi Arabia of tomorrow and celebrated the vision of the Saudi Cup. 

Prince Bandar unveils the Saudi Cup