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Here is what went down at the world’s most valuable horserace

The Saudi Ministry of Culture presented a unique cultural experience at this year’s Saudi Cup, including art exhibitions, fashion shows, culinary experiences, and traditional performances

Saudi Cup 2023 was held at the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on the 24th and 25th of February. The event saw contestants competing for a share of the record-breaking prize pot valued at US20 million. The victor of the coveted headline race Yutaka Yoshida was also awarded gifts that included a winner’s rug presented by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture also sponsored two races, Al Mneefah Cup and the Jockey Club Local Handicap, each worth US1 million.


The closing ceremony of the event featurediconic performances by the talented Mayyas dance crew, winner of America’s Got Talent, and the American-based duo, Bedouin, who entertained audiences with their unique blend of traditionally influenced electronic music. 


The cultural experience at the Saudi Cup, organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, extended far beyond the races. Attendees were immersed in exciting cultural activities which included art exhibitions, fashion shows, culinary experiences, traditional performances, and more.


A wide range of art installations were displayed at the event, most notably a Swarovski crystal horse sculpture created in recognition of the race and the cultural significance of the Arabian horse in the Kingdom. One of the highlights of the event was the distinctive exhibition by award-winning artist Sara Shakeel, titled “Oasis”, which displayed an interactive tent that featured a crystalized desert-themed oasis installation.


For the third successive year, the Saudi Fashion Commission continued to showcase the Kingdom’s fashion sector through a range of carefully selected pieces created by Saudi designers who participated in the Saudi 100 Brands program – a year-long program supporting emerging designers from the Kingdom through mentorship from leading fashion industry experts.


Attendees were also treated to a culinary journey that included interactive workshops and live cooking sessions, as well as a wide selection of restaurants and eateries. Tantalizing meals from the Kingdom’s 13 diverse regions were also offered at the event, in addition to fusion dishes that combined Saudi elements into internationally recognized and celebrated dishes.


The cultural experience at the Saudi Cup is part of the Ministry of Culture’s work to showcase the diversity of Saudi Arabia’s culture to the world and spotlight some of the Kingdom’s rising artists and creatives. The Arabian horse and horse racing is an important element of Saudi culture, and the Saudi Cup showcases this equestrian heritage. 


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