Thursday, September 20, 2018Contact: Andrew Chesser
IFHA Conference to Cover Topics Ranging from Wagering to Jockey Health and Safety

The 52nd International Conference of Horseracing Authorities, organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), will be held on the 8th of October 2018 in Paris, France. The all-day conference will cover a myriad of pressing topics, including strategic measures to stimulate turnover; the health, welfare, and safety of jockeys; and rules harmonisation.

The main morning session will focus on wagering, with discussions held concerning the rise of world pools, harnessing technology, and measures to increase field sizes. Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who is one of the co-chairmen of the IFHA, will lead the session, which will feature Hernan Lavallen (Latin American Racing Channel), Richard Cheung (HKJC), and Martin Panza (New York Racing Association).

Other morning panels will include an update on the IFHA strategic plan, an update on the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for British racing published by the Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG), a gene doping control update, and an introduction of a new IFHA affiliate member candidate, the Equestrian Federation of Iran.

The focus of the afternoon sessions will be divided between discussing jockey welfare and rules harmonisation. Chaired by Denis Egan, the CEO of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, the jockey welfare segment will take a look at the findings of mental health research and future plans for studies; practical work with jockeys; and an overview of pressures facing jockeys. Dr. Adrian McGoldrick, Dr. Giles Warrington, and Dr. Ciara Losty will take part.

Following that panel will be one on rules harmonisation, which will be led by Kim Kelly, the HKJC chief stipendiary steward and chairman of the IFHA harmonisation of raceday rules committee. Joining Kelly are Henri Pouret (France Galop), Brant Dunshea (BHA), Oscar Bertoletti (OSAF - Organización Sudamericana de Fomento del Sangre Pura de Carrera), and Australian racing consultant Dominic Beirne. 

“Horseracing executives from more than 50 countries will be in attendance this year,” said IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet, who will lead the conference. “Bringing together people from so many regions is a key to progress, as we all are striving to improve our sport.”

A live video stream of the Open Forum of the International Conference of Horseracing Authorities will be available on the IFHA’s website.  A replay of the live video stream and presentations will be available in the days following the event.

The first International Conference of Horseracing Authorities was organized and hosted by the Société d'Encouragement in Paris, France, on October 9, 1967. Since 1994, the annual conference has been organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities at France Galop.
About the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA):
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing. Its 60 members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage Thoroughbred races.
Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:
•           Making and amending the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (the IABRW)
•           Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
•           International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
•           World Rankings
•           Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
•           Harmonization of Race Day Rules
•           Certification of IFHA Reference Labs
•           Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally

The IFHA is a foundation member with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
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