Monday, October 06, 2014Contact: Andrew Chesser
2014 LONGINES & IFHA International Award of Merit presented to Alec Head

At the Jockey Club in Paris, France, following the 48th Annual International Conference of Horseracing Authorities held Monday, 6 October, Louis ROMANET, IFHA Chairman and Juan Carlos CAPELLI, LONGINES' Vice President, Head of International Marketing, presented the second "LONGINES and IFHA International Award of Merit" to distinguished horseman Alec HEAD.

Mr ROMANET said, “Both the Head and the Romanet families have been involved in the racing industry for more than 100 years on two different sides. The Heads were active horsemen and we were regulators, but we have greatly enjoyed working together and the names of our two families are known everywhere around the world thanks to my father Jean and to Alec who were both totally international minded and respected all around the world. There really may be no other person (than Alec Head) that better embodies the accomplishments, values, and excellence that the LONGINES and IFHA International Award of Merit represent.”

Mr CAPELLI said “I would like to congratulate Alec Head, who has won fame successively as a jockey, trainer, owner and horse breeder, for his award. He is one of the most prominent personalities in the horse racing and has, thanks to his impressive career, deeply marked this world. His experience and dedication to horse racing are a true inspiration for all of us and his award is fully deserved.”

Alec Head was born on 31 July 1924, the son of William Head, also an accomplished horseman, who won the Grand Steeple Chase de Paris at Auteuil in 1920 as a jockey and trained Le Paillon to win the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1947. Alec won his first race as an apprentice on 4 April 4 1941 at Maisons-Laffitte with Sparkenbroke at only 16 years of age. Alec took his trainer’s license in 1947 and was leading trainer for four years in a row from 1952 to 1955. During his career, he won 4 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s with Nuccio (1952), Saint-Crespin (1959), Ivanjica (1976) and Gold River (1981) and also won the Epsom Derby with Lavandin (1956).

The Head family’s Haras Du Quesnay has bred or been associated with such racings greats as Prudent, Le Fabuleux, Bon Mot, Astec, Chaparral, Riverqueen, Detroit, Bering, Ravinella, and Trêve.

In addition, son, Freddy, was a distinguished jockey, winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on four separate occasions as a rider. Freddy has also trained many champions including Goldikova who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile three times and 6-time Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud. Daughter, Criquette Head-Maarek, is also an accomplished trainer, three times winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, including repeat victories in 2013 and 2014 with Trêve. Both, Criquette and Freddy are active managers of Haras du Quesnay.

In order to mark the collaboration that contributes to the prestige of horseracing, Longines presented IFHA with a Longines Equestrian Lépine timepiece. This rose gold pocket watch has been produced in a highly exclusive limited edition to mark the Year of the Horse, and reflects the Swiss watch brand's passion for equestrian sports. Longines thus celebrates the Year of the Horse with this outstanding timepiece, the back of which is decorated with the image of a horse jumping a fence. This model is a re-issue of a metal pocket watch dating from 1927, which is now housed at the Longines Museum. It pays tribute to this legendary animal that has fascinated man since the dawn of time, and is the embodiment of not only prestige, but also elegance and performance, two values close to the heart of the brand known by its winged hourglass logo.

The LONGINES and IFHA International Award of Merit is presented to an outstanding international personality of the horseracing industry selected by a committee including the IFHA Chairman and Vice Chairmen and Longines' Vice President Head of International Marketing. Mr Alec HEAD is the second recipient of the prestigious award, following owner, breeder, and trainer, Mr Jim BOLGER, the inaugural recipient in 2013.
About IFHA
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of thoroughbred racing. Its members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage thoroughbred races. Collectively these countries account for annual raceday attendance of more than 100 million people, total wagering turnover of some €90 billion and 170,000 races per year. The Federation organizes the annual International Conference, now in its 48th year.
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
  • Harmonisation of Race Day Rules
  • 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).
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. Longines has generations of experience as official timekeeper of world championships and as partner of international sports federation. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 140 countries.
Andrew Chesser
Deputy Secretary General, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)
Telephone +1 859 224 2741
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