Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has released a new poem celebrating the Dubai World Cup and expressing his passion for horses that are his life and joy.
Sheikh Mohammed shared his ode to the world's richest day of horse racing, which he founded back in 1996, with his 3.9 million followers on Instagram.
The Saturday spectacular - the climax of the Meydan racing season - will carry a $35 million total jackpot, $12 million of which is up for grabs in the flagship Dubai World Cup race.
The event has grown to be one of the highlights of the sporting and social calendar in the emirate, attracting a world class field of elite jockeys and thoroughbred horses as well as tens of thousands of fans.
In the poem, Sheikh Mohammed dwells on horses as “They are my life, my joy from the very first day.”
He reflects on the prestigious race that has brought people together “in a joyous celebration, year after year/Where the world’s best meet, from far and near.”
He hails the event as "unique', adding that "Winning is neither bound by a cup, nor complete/Though my horse is a winner, with the wind it competes.”
Welcoming people to the race is the real victory for Sheikh Mohammed who describes the presence of guests as “an absolute win.”
He says the appeal of the race to visitors “fills me with peace from within/It brings me joy that lingers, an utmost pleasure/A happiness against which none else can measure.”
Sheikh Mohammed is a well-established equine enthusiast, only too happy to bring his adoration of the animal, beloved in Arab culture, to life through verse.
Earlier this week, his 18 poem collection, called For the Love of Horses, was launched at Meydan.
Emirati artist Saggaf Al Hashemi created a striking work of art at the event – featuring Sheikh Mohammed smiling happily while posed next to one of his favourite animals – while home-grown writer Sultan Al Ameemi recited poetry from the collection, which is being published in both Arabic and English.
The new collection of poems is just the latest foray into the literary world for the Ruler of Dubai.
Earlier this year he released his autobiography, My Story: 50 Stories in 50 years, marking his half-century of service in the UAE government.
In the tome, which has also been released in both Arabic and English, Sheikh Mohammed revealed his passion for horses was sparked at an early age.
When Sheikh Mohammed was only 10, he would help bring an injured horse back to full health. Such was his commitment, the future leader would sometimes even slept in the stable overnight, he wrote in the book.
It was an episode that taught him an important lesson, he writes. “I learnt that when you give something good to a horse, they will give back double. My horse taught me about loyalty.”