20-02-17 Godolphin Stables at Deira City Centre

Monday 20th February 2017

While Erroll is away, we explore what the various Malls of Dubai have in store…and if lucky get some sort of lesson of the Gulf region. Luck was in for us tonight for Deira City Centre featured the Godolphin Stables – the global thoroughbred breeding and horseracing team founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Its name comes from a very particular horse. Here is some history if you care to read on…

The Godolphin Arabian was foaled about 1724 in Yemen and moved several times before reaching England. At some early age he was exported to the stud of the Bey of Tunis (monarchs of Tunisia from 1705, when the Husainid dynasty – originally of Cretan-Turkish-Muslim origin acceded to the throne, until 1957, when monarchy was abolished).

From there the Arabian was given to Louis XV of France in 1730. And from there he was imported by Edward Coke and sent to his stud at Longford Hall, Derbyshire where he remained until the death of his owner in 1733.

He was bequeathed to Roger Williams, proprietor of the St. James’s Coffee House, who inherited Coke’s stallions. He was bought by the 2nd Earl of Godolphin, and placed at his stud at Barbraham, Cambridgeshire, until his death on Christmas Day 1753. Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, (3 September 1678 – 17 January 1766) was a British nobleman and politician, styled Viscount Rialton between 1706 and 1712.

The Godolphin Arabian is a brown bay colour with some white on the off heel behind. He stands at 15 hands (60 inches, 152 cm) and is distinguished by an unnaturally high crest. Which brings us to Kingsley’s ride on a Godolphin Arabian at Deira City Centre tonight. Not the real thing, but good enough for a first go on a pony…