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Dubai's billionaire ruler's latest divorce battle: Sheikh Al-Maktoum fights estranged wife Princess Haya over the future of their multi-million pound thoroughbred racehorses

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 22/06/2020 Amelia Wynne For Mailonline
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Sheikh Al-Maktoum of Dubai's multi-million pound race horses have become part of his venomous divorce battle with estranged Jordanian wife Princess Haya (they are pictured together) © Provided by Daily Mail Sheikh Al-Maktoum of Dubai's multi-million pound race horses have become part of his venomous divorce battle with estranged Jordanian wife Princess Haya (they are pictured together)

Sheikh Al-Maktoum of Dubai's multi-million-pound racehorses has become part of the venomous divorce battle with his estranged Jordanian wife Princess Haya.   

The sheikh, 70, is one of the world's most successful owners and breeders and keeps thoroughbreds at his Godolphin stables near Newmarket. 

But some of them were owned by his former wife, Princess Haya Bint Hussein, 46, a professional rider who represented Jordan in showjumping at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  

Her Royal Highness fled Dubai with the couple's children Princess Jalila, then 11, and son Prince Zayed, seven, to the UK in April last year over claims she feared for her life. 

The billionaire ruler of Dubai sent British lawyers to the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the 'summary return' of his children. He later abandoned his demand for their return and they were made wards of the court.

Both the sheikh and his wife were friends of the Queen and often appeared with her at Royal Ascot and other meetings. 

Racing records show that the ownership of at least six horses has been transferred back and forth between the princess and the sheikh since her arrival in London.

a person riding a horse: The ownership of one thoroughbred - Terebellum - is disputed. Last week at Newmarket the horse appeared in the royal blue silks of Godolphin (pictured) rather than Haya's usual green and black silks © Provided by Daily Mail The ownership of one thoroughbred - Terebellum - is disputed. Last week at Newmarket the horse appeared in the royal blue silks of Godolphin (pictured) rather than Haya's usual green and black silks

Four-year-old Beatboxer - who is due to race this week at Royal Ascot - appears to have been owned by Haya until Thursday, when listings changed to show the sheikh as the owner, according to The Times.   

The ownership of another thoroughbred - Terebellum - is also disputed. Last week at Newmarket the horse appeared in the royal blue silks of Godolphin rather than Haya's usual green and black silks.

Haya owned 16 horses last year and three are now listed under Godolphin. Three more were returned to her owner after a brief transfer to the stable last summer and another three have been sold, according to Racing Post. 

The sheikh's friendship with the Queen has been built on their shared love of horses, breeding and racing. 

The British Horseracing Authority declined to comment on ownership issues of the horses.   

Haya is thought to be living in an £85m house in Kensington, west London, bought in 2017. 

It comes after the billionaire ruler of Dubai lost a battle to build a lodge for family members at his Scottish estate following a backlash from locals.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum wanted to expand his Inverinate Estate in the Highlands by erecting a six-bedroom building designed to accommodate his relatives.

The proposal led to 31 objections being made to Highland Council by residents who said it was too close to a neighbouring bungalow and would spoil the natural beauty of the area at Loch Duich. 


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