We will be following all the action from California this weekend as the who’s who of Arabian racing descend on Hollywood for the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley awards and the U.S. Darley awards which recognise outstanding achievement in Purebred Arabian racing and breeding. These awards are sponsored by the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and will be held at the Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars. Lara Sawaya, the Executive Director of the festival, President of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies and Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee (IFAHR) outlined the schedule for the weekend with invitees also taking in the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes (PA) at Santa Anita on April 2nd and then a glamorous gala dinner and stallion nomination auction at the Beverly Wilshire hotel on Sunday evening.
Here we are at the world famous Dolby Theatre for the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley awards and 29th edition of the U.S. Darley awards. The evening is just getting underway with thanks to H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his generous support and sponsorship of the event.
26 awards are to be presented this evening with the first category being the 3 year old colts and geldings US Darley award
And the winner is....Easter Man, a colt by the great sire Burning Sand out of Angel Proof who won the DIAR Texas Lone Star Futurity
Joseph Gillis, owner of Easter Man has just won his second award of the evening as Jewel AA has just won the U.S. Darley for top 3 year old filly
In the 4 year old colt/gelding category there are three nominees; ES Mi Cielo, F Sixteen and Paddys Day with the award going to trainer Scott Powell's Paddys day - yet another son of Burning Sand
Next up is the U.S. Darley award for top 4 year old filly which has been given to RB Frynch Broad, a duel Arabian Oaks winner this season. Breeder Dianne Waldron said it was a dream come true to win this award.
In the older horse category 5 year old RB Rich and Thess Is Awesome are nominated alongside 11 year old So Big Is Better with the old timer making history in being announced as this years winner and his third consecutive Darley in this category
The sixth award of the evening, the best older mare, has just been awarded to DC Willeys Song with owner Jon Henningsgard, trainer Ken Danyluk and jockey Travis Wales collecting the prize
Three nominees line up for US Darley breeder of the year trophy, with the 2015 prize going to Jospeh and Betty Gillis - their third award of the night - as breeders of Burning Fleet, Jewell AA, Easter Man and Sand Victor all having won stakes races this year. The couple have been in the business for 24 years and are also nominated for owner of the year
And the Gillis' are back again! 4 awards in one night, what a fantastic achievement.
Lynn Ashby is announced as Champion trainer of the year as trainer of DC Willeys Song, All N All, Our Princess and Thess Is Awesome. Ashby has recently beaten cancer and said that it was her horses who helped her through
The US Darley award sees the boys versus the girls as Travis Wales and Ernesto Valdez Jiminez battle it out with Kelsi Purcell
And Kelsi Purcell has just been judged jockey of the year, Purcell is the rider of Paddys Day who earlier won the award for top 4 year old clot
Following live entertainment it is now time for the first H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley awards. The first prize is for top three year old filly and this goes to H.H. Sheikh Mansoor's own Mabrooka who has won 5 out of her 6 starts.
The top four year old filly award is presented to Sylvine Al Maury, who has won €135,000 this season. The filly was bred in France and is by champion sire Munjiz who stands at Sheikh Mansoor's Haras de Thouars
Best older mare has gone to Qatar bred and owned Taraf who is trained by Englishman Julian Smart
Norwegian Dina Heggum, who has ridden since she was 9, is judged best amateur jockey. She was female European amateur champion in 2014 and has ridden 9 winners from 52 rides this season
H.H. Sheikha Fatima Darley awards recognise outstanding female achievement - both horses and industry participants. The Scandinavian Fanny Olsson has just scooped the prize for best apprentice jockey
There are three nominees for the coveted best professional jockey award but Kelsi Purcell has beaten Astrid Wullschleger and Cornelia Fraisl to become a duel US Darley and Sheika Fatima Darley award winner
It's a tete-a-tete in the best breeder category but Rene-Laure Koch comes out on top as breeder of Sylvine Al Maury who has never been out of the money in 5 starts this season
There are several nominations for best owner, hailing from Australia, Tunisia, Turkey and the US but the shortest traveller has walked away with it. Deborah Mihaloff-Kirshner, who's 9 horses in training this season have won €106,026 between them including 3 stakes wins, has owned purebred arabian horses for over 40 years
Denise Gault, chief steward of the Arabian Racing Cup steps up to present the award for best trainer to Lynn Ashby - our second duel award winner this evening
Joint MC for the evening Victoria Shaw has just been awarded a Darley for best journalist of 2015. Shaw works around the globe promoting Arabian racing through both her work as a journalist and as a sports broadcaster
Brit Laura King, who works for Dubai Racing Channel, is the proud receiver of the best presenter award. King has worked in Dubai for 11 years and presents coverage of both Arabian and thoroughbred racing
Karol Loureiro from Brazil was very humbled to be announced as best photographer for her work in Revista Turf Brasil for which she is also an editor
The trophy for the best endurance rider was presented in absentia to spaniard Maria Alvarez who was today riding in France
It is now time for one of the most prestigious awards of the evening, the lifetime achievement award. The prize has gone to Elizabeth Zindel of Switzerland who is at the forefront of the famous St Moritz White Turf Arabian racing
Lara Sawaya, executive director of the Sheikh Mansoor festival, has just thanked everyone who has made this evening such a fabulous production and is now presenting the prize for Horse of the Year to connections of Paddys Day. A fantastic evening for Quarter Moon Ranch who own and train the Emerald jewel winner
As the evening draws to a close here in Hollywood please tune in again tomorrow for live coverage from Santa Anita for the $100,000 Group 1 H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Awards Stakes
The 10 runners are lining up for the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes with Horse of the Year Paddys Day favourite to win the $100,000 prize
And the purse goes to Thess Is Awesome who has led start to finish for duel Darley award winning trainer Lynn Ashby and jockey Travis Wales
Favourite Paddys Day comes in second in a photo for place with Easter Man taking third on the rostrum
Thess Is Awesome is now automatically qualified for the richest Arabian horse race in the world - the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown - which carries a pool of €1.2 million and will be run in Abu Dhabi in November as part of the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival finals
Winning jockey Travis Wales said: "This is my first ride at Santa Anita. That's why they pay me to ride. I figure if they hire you it's for a reason and that's my business to make it pay off. He had the endurance to hold on as you never know with a front runner. I just hoped that I had calculated enough during the race to get him home. I was honoured to be nominated [for a Darley award] this year and I hope it's given me a big chance for next year."
Winning trainer Lynn Ashby said: "Pinch me! It's like a dream. Abu Dhabi here we come. Travis did such a great job, he measured it perfectly. "
We are here at the Beverly Wilshire, the hotel synonymous with Pretty Woman, for the 2016 Arabian Racing Cup Stallion Nomination Auction and Darley Awards Gala Dinner
The first stallion up in the nomination auction is Grilla by top Arabian sire Kong out of Dixie Darline sold for $2,000 to Paddys Day's trainer Scott Powell
A nomination for Madjani, a three time Kahayla Classic winner, goes to Keith Brackpool for $3,500 - the chairman of Santa Anita racetrack
Sheikh Mansoor's prize stallion Munjiz is up next. An opening bid of $5,000 started the ball rolling but $12,000 was required to secure the nomination, a bid placed by Scott Powell
So Big Is Better is up now, a Darley award winning horse for three consecutive years, with a bid of $5,000 securing a mare in the covering shed
And Derek 'Tommo' Thompson has just received an award in recognition of his commentating throughout the Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nayhan Global Arabian Horse Racing Flat Racing Festival this season
That's it from the Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Horse Racing Festival in Los Angeles. Next up is the world Arabian horse racing conference in Rome from May 24-29.