December 22, 2014

LONDON (AP) Qatar is increasing its influence in British horse racing with a sponsorship deal that sees the showpiece Glorious Goodwood festival name taken over by the oil-and-gas rich Gulf nation.

The five-day event - described by Goodwood Racecourse as the ''social highlight of the season'' - will become the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Under the 10-year sponsorship, Goodwood says Qatar will invest more than 2 million pounds ($3.1 million) in prize money for the 2015 festival, taking the total fund to 4.5 million pounds ($7 million).

Qatar Equestrian Federation President Hamad Al Attiyah says the ''sponsorship demonstrates Qatar's further commitment to British racing.''

Through private investment vehicle QIPCO, Qatar's ruling family already sponsors the British Champions Series, which includes some of the Goodwood races.

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