“Through their eye you can see their heart. It’s fantastic.”

It’s no secret that the Dubai royal family are fond of their horses. The current kingpin, especially.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is one of the most well-known and important members in the equestrian industry worldwide.

He owns Darley Stud in Suffolk in the United Kingdom, which is the largest horse breeding operation in the world, and is the current owner of Godolphin – a thoroughbred horse-racing stable in Dubai.

The family has won many classics all over the world – from the British Classics to the high-stakes Dubai World Cup.

sheikh mohammed horses

Sheikh Mohammed hoists a trophy after his horse African Story wins the Dubai World Cup

He’s also an excellent rider: at the age of 63, Sheikh Mohammed himself won the 2012 World Endurance Championship over a 160km course.

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In a video interview from 2008, he explained. “The creation of the horse is in the Arabian Peninsula – where I come from. If you see this fantastic, magnificent thoroughbred, it has to have Arabic blood in it. Otherwise, you will not see a racing horse.”

sheikh mohammed horses

Sheikh Mohammed at Egypt’s third annual endurance race in 2002 at the Giza Plateau

Sheikh Mohammed’s love for horses shines through when he says, “Some horses just give you that feeling you know… telling you that there is something about them.

“Through their eye you can see their heart. It’s fantastic.”

Here’s a video compilation of Sheikh Mohammed with his horses:


Here are some reported horse transactions that show how H.H. Sheikh Mohammed is willing to pay top dollar towards his passion.

– In 2008, it was reported that over the past 13 years in US sales alone, the Al Maktoum family spent a whopping Dhs1.05 billion on thoroughbred horses.

– Again in 2008, Sheikh Mohammed bought Australia’s biggest racing empire, Woodlands Stud for Dhs1.7 billion

– In 2014 and in just two days Sheikh Mohammed bought dozens of yearlings (a one or two-year-old foal) for Dhs102.3 million.

– In 2014, he paid a record Dhs11 million for a single racehorse, Shamardal.

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Images: Getty