All India, 25th November 2014 : Bollywood star and horse-lover Randeep Hooda had an Emirati-themed equestrian adventure this week when he witnessed the remarkable skills of Abu Dhabi’s world-renowned horsemaster Ali Al Ameri – a man known in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as ‘The horse whisperer’.

Hooda, who was visiting the UAE capital for the season finale Formula1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a guest of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), called in at Al Ameri’s Rahal Ranch for a spot of one-on-one tuition with the heralded Emirati horsemaster and problem horse fixer, before the actor, who’s also a professional polo player and show jumper, put his new skills to the test in Abu Dhabi’s sweeping desert.

“Ali and the horses were unbelievable,” said Hooda, who describes riding as his passion. “The control Ali had over his stallions was amazing – they responded to everything he did. Despite riding from an early age and also competitively, I was a little nervous at first as this was a leap into the unknown, but once Ali showed me all the cues it was totally different and the horses did everything I asked. He was getting the horse to sit on its hind legs, stick its tongue out, circle round me and rear up. It was a magical sensation to have so much control over Tayeb – he was so beautiful, gentle and well-behaved. It was an amazing experience.”

Hooda took a well-earned break from filming and rehearsing with a stay in Abu Dhabi. He’s appeared in more than 20 Bollywood films in a career spanning 14 years.

A fan of all things equestrian, Randeep immediately bonded with Tayeb and Fayed – two fully-trained Arabian stallions Al Ameri uses for international film productions.

After a basic horsemaster education session in the ranch paddock covering aspects of groundwork, handling and liberty, Hooda hit the nearby dunes to put his lessons to the test with Tayeb – which means kind in Arabic – and take a desert ride with Al Ameri.

“Randeep is a natural rider and he did very well with unfamiliar horses,” said Al Ameri, who was born in Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland of Al Ain. “He was very brave, wasn’t scared and took it all in his stride. If he keeps up this progress, I may have some competition in the future! I told him he doesn’t have to worry about my acting though!

“I’m not surprised the horses took to Randeep – they have qualities in common – they are both good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please.”

With some 40 horses in his stables, Al Ameri is working on a range of new products to attract a greater share of international visitors to Rahal Ranch. At present, Al Ameri – who travels all over the world working on problem horses and training horses for film productions such as Disney’s The Young Black Stallion – offers ad hoc courses in basic horsemaster education and all visits must be pre-booked to the family-run ranch. Future plans include quarterly authentic Arabian horse shows and trick shows, arrive-and-ride day-trips and horsemaster photo-shoots in the desert.

“Arabian horses are known worldwide for their speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bones. They are a much-treasured part of our heritage and an asset that we can leverage to engage visitors with our culture,” said Al Ameri.
Abu Dhabi celebrates its equestrian heritage annually with the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.



Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

For more information please contact:
Pukhraj Varshneya
PR and Brand Executive
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Tel: +91 11 23737348, +91 9810871469 Fax: +91 11 23350270

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