|Friday, June 05, 2015||Contact: Andrew Chesser|
|Seth Hancock and Marcel Zarour Named as Recipients of 2015 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit|
New York (USA) / Saint-Imier (Switzerland), 5 June 2015 – Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm and the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio, the former chairman of OSAF (South American Organization for the Promotion of Thoroughbreds), have been chosen as the recipients of the 2015 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit. The award, which recognizes distinguished horsemen for lifelong contributions to Thoroughbred racing, was given by Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines' Vice President, Head of International Marketing, and Louis Romanet, chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), at the Gala Dinner of the Pan American Conference Friday night at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The dinner, which was presented by Longines as part of a Pan American Conference hosted this week in New York City by the Latin American Racing Channel and The US Jockey Club, gathered 400 attendees.
As the Official Partner and Official Watch of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, the Swiss watchmaker had the pleasure to present the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit, previously honoring leading Irish trainer, owner, and breeder Jim Bolger and France’s Alec Head, a past champion trainer and patriarch of leading stud farm Haras du Quesnay.
“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the latest recipients of this prestigious award, both being exceptional contributors to the world of horse racing,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli. “We are especially pleased to do it here in New York, as New York and flat racing hold a special place in the history of Longines in equestrian sports. In 1878, we produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. This model was first seen on the racetracks as early as 1881 in New York.”
“Seth Hancock and Marcel Zarour Atanacio demonstrated true passion and commitment to our sport over a long period of time and they embody the excellence that the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit represent,” said Louis Romanet. “They each demonstrated a willingness to grow Thoroughbred breeding and racing outside of their home regions and have been respected leaders throughout their careers.”
Seth Hancock oversaw Claiborne Farm from 1972 through 2013. Soon after he became president, he syndicated Secretariat for a then record $6.08 million before the champion 2-year-old colt had begun his 3-year-old campaign, a campaign that saw him become the first American Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Under Seth Hancock’s guidance and leadership, and throughout countless changes in the breeding industry landscape, Claiborne Farm has grown into an international business focusing on breeding and raising world-class Thoroughbred racehorses with clients in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, France, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Japan. On the matter of medication reform and leadership, Hancock has been among a group of prominent breeders that have forcefully argued for better regulations and the elimination of race-day medications. Shortly after the farm celebrated its 100th year of operation in 2010, Claiborne Farm received the Eclipse Award of Merit for extraordinary service and contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing. In early 2014, he was succeeded as president of Claiborne Farm by his son Walker Hancock.
The late Marcel Zarour Atanacio was the former chairman of OSAF (South American Organization for the Promotion of Thoroughbreds) from 2011 until his death in late 2014. Marcel Zarour was also the vice chairman of Club Hípico de Santiago, chairman of the Chilean Stud Book Commission and owner of Haras El Sheik. Under his stewardship, he advanced OSAF’s activities and organization in order to strengthen the working relationship among its members and between South America, as well as the rest of the racing world. Developments undertaken during his tenure as chairman include the expansion of the OSAF board of directors, formal creation of a number of technical committees and inclusion of South American countries to the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. In March 2014, he oversaw an agreement between Longines and OSAF whereby Longines became an official partner of the federation and the Swiss timekeeper would become the main sponsor of the highly rated Group 1, the Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano. Among his last functions as chairman, he managed the efforts that led to Uruguay obtaining the approval of International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee and IFHA for 12 Group races at Hipódromo de Maroñas to be acknowledged as Part I of the International Cataloguing Standards.
Seth Hancock and María Luisa “Icha” Solari, widow of Marcel Zarour, were present to accept the 2015 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit.
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.
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
• 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 built solid and lasting ties with the world of sport over the years, with a wealth of experience as timekeeper for sports championships around the globe and a partner of numerous international sports federations. Renowned for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd., the world's leading watch manufacturer. Known by its winged hourglass logo, the brand is today present in over 140 different countries.
For further information please contact:
Longines International Public Relations
2610 Saint-Imier, Switzerland
International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)
Andrew Chesser, Deputy Secretary General
Telephone +1 859 224 2741
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