The Kentucky mixed-sale season started yesterday in Lexington at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton and numbers, as expected, were down across the board at both venues. Foreign buyers, here to take advantage of the weakness of the dollar, were prominent, with the notable exception of John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser and agent.
Instead of roaming the sales grounds outdoors in Kentucky during fall weather, Mr. Ferguson was spotted indoors at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai Monday, seated intently behind Sheikh Mohammed in a blue business suit. He was part of the Dubai business glitterati attending an investment conference organized by Merrill Lynch. In the video below, filmed Monday, Mr. Ferguson appears at approximately 34 seconds into it (far left of video).
Why is Mr. Ferguson here? Because he is vice chairman of the Dubai firm Falcon and Associates, second on the masthead to chairman Ahmed Abdullah Al Sheikh, the media escort of the Ruler of Dubai and managing director of the Media Office. The company is run by CEO Giselle Pettyfer (formerly Davies), the former spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Falcon and Associates was established by Sheikh Mohammed this summer and was described by the Media Office in the following manner: “The new entity will work to deepen understanding and appreciation of Dubai’s vision both nationally and internationally, through the establishment of media-related business concerns. Falcon and Associates will maintain full or part ownership in these entities in collaboration with the Media Office for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”
In the video below, filmed on Nov. 2 in Dubai at a meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed’s son, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (sitting next to Sheikh Mohammed in the dark robes and in his mid-20s), Mr. Ferguson appears at approximately 1:17 minutes into it. The meeting, by the way, is to explore Dubai’s chances for the Olympics in 2020. It appears that Mr. Ferguson’s business acumen transcends bloodstock, and he’s achieved a level within Dubai that has elevated him into an inner sanctum.