Horse and camel racing have been deeply embedded in Emirati culture for centuries. These sports are to the United Arab Emirate (UAE) what football is to Europe: a way of life. Saeed Rashed Bin Ghadayer is a household name when it comes to the equine industry, and for good reason.
Saeed has an amazing way with horses and a deep love for these majestic animals. He grew up with them and began working with them from a very young age. What makes this extraordinary is that Saeed was born with about 10 percent of his vision, yet has always been totally comfortable around horses.
This was never more clearly demonstrated than the 2007 Pan Arab Games in Egypt, when Saeed rode in the long-distance races to claim silver and gold medals. Yet, even the most accomplished endurance riders can experience tragedies. In 2018, during his second year as a trainer, one of his most beloved horses died from a fall during the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile. While Saeed has trained numerous champions, Frankyfourfingers still holds a special place in his heart, being lauded as the best horse imaginable for a new trainer.
Claiming they have faith in him, Saeed returns what horses give twofold. This, along with teamwork and intense communication, is his recipe for success. Saeed shares even the tiniest detail about every horse at the famous Fazza Stables with every member of his staff. This allows him to deduce more information from discussions and for all employees to offer valuable feedback. More importantly, it means that everyone at the stables knows the horses, a critical element when training these champion athletes.
This dialogue helps Saeed achieve his goal of producing winning racehorses. In addition to being a major part of Emirati culture, horse (and camel) racing is a high stakes sport with international recognition and prizes of up to $12 million on the line. In 2019, Saeed was within striking distance of the Dubai World Cup when his horse Gronkowski lost to Thunder Snow in a photo finish. Now two of Fazza’s champions, Gronkowski and Matterhorn, are the favourites for this prestigious race.
Saeed now spends upwards of 90 percent of his time with race horses and has gained the patronage of both the Crown Prince and Ruler of Dubai. This does not come as a surprise, since Saeed has established himself as royalty in this distinguished field.