On February 29th this year, up to fourteen of the finest thoroughbreds, representing four different continents, are due to exhibit their incredible speed and compete over nine furlongs of dirt and turf at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh. Known as ‘The World’s Most Valuable Horse Race’ the prize money totals US$20 million, and Garrard’s majestic Cup gleams gold.
The Cup stands over a metre tall, its height helped by a triple-tiered base on which will be inscribed the victors’ names, this year and in years to come. Commissioned by His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, the chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, it combines His Royal Highness’s design ideas with Garrard’s renowned craftsmanship and exceptional quality. Its making has involved no fewer than seven individual intricate processes, each carried out by one of Garrard’s master silversmiths over hundreds of hours.
Handcrafted in sterling silver, the Cup has been richly gilded, studded with coloured enamel, and embellished with ornate chased details, that are “Saudi-inspired with a Garrard twist”, explains Sara Prentice, Garrard’s Creative Director. “Working with His Royal Highness Prince Bandar on the design process was a privilege – the immense level of detail and skill that has gone into the trophy, and the grandeur of the design that we chose, really capture the significance of the race it will represent,” Sara continues. “It has been an honour to add such a prestigious commission to Garrard’s rich legacy of creating trophies for the world’s finest sporting occasions.”
“It has been an honour to add such a prestigious commission to Garrard’s rich legacy of creating trophies for the world’s finest sporting occasions.” Sara Prentice Creative Director of House of Garrard
For the Saudi Cup joins an illustrious collection, part of Garrard’s enduring regal history. Among other trophies and awards, Garrard has created the Gold Cup for Royal Ascot; the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest international sporting trophy; the Dubai World Cup and, more recently, the medals for the Invictus Games, commissioned by His Royal Highness Prince Harry.
Consistent within these trophies is the excellence they acknowledge, and, in the case of perpetual awards, record. The Saudi Cup celebrates the horse’s significance in Saudi history and Arabian culture, and the pride and glory in its beauty and pace. While the euphoria of the race can only ever be fleeting, Garrard’s Cup, and the names engraved upon it, is an eternal reminder of a crowning achievement in this thrilling sport of Kings.