Friday, May 30, 2014Contact: Andrew Chesser
Statement from the IFHA

Friday 30 May 2014

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is highly appreciative of recent steps undertaken by members of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) toward facilitating the temporary international movement of horses for competition.

Representatives from 178 countries attending the 82nd General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates in Paris, France adopted in principle the “High Health, High Performance” (HHP) concept within a new OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapter. The concept, when implemented, will act as the blueprint for Chief Veterinary Officers of the Veterinary Authorities to work closely with each other to harmonise and safeguard the temporary international movement of high performance racehorses and sport horses when attending high level international competitions.

The IFHA recognizes that this is the first step in an on-going process with additional work necessary to agree the details for implementation of the adopted principles.

The endorsement of the HHP by the OIE delegates is a significant decision for international racing and further underscores the mutually beneficial affiliation between the OIE and IFHA. In addition, the ratification of the HHP follows the November 2013 formation by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and IFHA of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC), the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading governing bodies for equestrian sport. Advancing and improving the international movement of horses is among the IHSC’s core objectives.

IFHA Chairman and IHSC Vice-President Louis Romanet presented an endorsement of the OIE delegates’ approval on behalf of the federation and recognized the continued cooperative efforts needed by all parties.

“The decision of the OIE to endorse the HHP is momentous and I applaud the collective work put forth by OIE, FEI, and IFHA. The HHP recognizes that top equine athletes, when managed under practical scientific guidelines set forth by the OIE, represent a lower risk in movement internationally. The IFHA looks forward to working even more closely with the OIE and FEI in furthering the HHP concept to become accepted regulation by chief veterinary officers and governments throughout the world.”

“This is a landmark development in global access to equestrian sport. It means our athletes, who are working so hard to represent their countries at key international events, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, have the opportunity do so in future with practical and safe horse movement approaches from governments around the world,” explained HRH Princess Haya, FEI and IHSC President.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone within the OIE, FEI and the racing world, who have seen the necessity for this, and have dedicated themselves to enhancing horse sport and further opening up the economic benefits for communities working with horses. We’re now looking forward to the job ahead, and to working to create the conditions necessary for success.”

“We have worked with the FEI for over ten years to identify practical national veterinary requirements, and we have recently advanced further quickly, presenting government experts around the world with solutions to meet their specific requirements based on the OIE principle of compartmentalisation and harnessing our public-private partnership,” said OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat. “Our members fully understood the need for finding a way to better recognise the lower risk of moving such highly supervised horses within OIE Standards, and the HHP concept does that. There has also been a recognition of the economic impact of the equine industry and this concept will allow countries to tap into the potential income associated with increasing numbers of FEI and horse racing events.”
Notes to Editors

International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has as its members racing authorities from approximately 60 countries throughout the world. Every year, the Federation organizes the International Conference, which updates the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering endorsed by the conference in 1974.
Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:
  • Welfare and safety of horses and riders
  • International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
  • World Rankings
  • Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
  • Harmonisation of Race Day Rules
  • Fostering commercial development of the racing industry global
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
With the mandate to improve animal health and welfare worldwide, the OIE is recognised as the reference standard-setting organisation for the international movement of animals, including horses, by the World Trade Organisation.  
Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)
The FEI is the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was founded in 1921. The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Jumping, Dressage & Para-Dressage, Eventing, Driving & Para-Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC)
The FEI and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) joined forces to create the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading governing bodies for equestrian sport on 4 November 2013. The formation of the IHSC was formally signed by FEI President HRH Princess Haya and IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet during the FEI General Assembly in Montreux (SUI). The Confederation is the first formal alliance between the racing world and the FEI.  
IFHA Media contact:
Andrew Chesser
Deputy Secretary General
+1 859 224 2741
OIE Media contact:
Catherine Bertrand-Ferrandis
Head of Communication Unit
+33 1 44 15 19 72
FEI Media contacts:
Ruth Grundy
Manager Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 45
Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
+41 787 506 133
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