Monday, September 11, 2017
IFHA Conference to Spotlight Historic Racing Venue Development

The 51st International Conference of Horseracing Authorities, organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), will spotlight historic venue development at both the Curragh in Ireland and Longchamp in France. The conference will be held on the 2nd of October 2017 in Paris, France.

Presentations on redeveloping the two historic racetracks will be the main features of this year’s conference. Brian Kavanagh, the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland and a vice-chairman of the IFHA, along with Derek McGrath, the CEO of Curragh Racecourse, will update attendees on the Irish redesign, whilst Olivier Delloye, the chief executive of France Galop, and Fabrice Favetto Bon, the marketing director of France Galop, will present on Longchamp.

The redesigned Curragh will feature a new grandstand, which will incorporate top of the line corporate facilities, restaurants, bars and viewing facilities. The project will also include a new arrivals and reception area, parade ring, and weigh room.

The new Longchamp, which is nearing completion and will officially open in April 2018, also features a new grandstand aimed at improving customer experience as well as a 360°view overlooking the parade ring and tracks on every floor.

“Every year, it is a privilege to host so many horseracing executives from around the world, with nearly 50 countries scheduled to be represented,” said IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet, who will lead the conference. “The sport as a whole benefits when ideas, successes and issues can be shared and discussed.”

Other morning panels include a progress report on relations between the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC)—which is comprised of the IFHA and FEI—and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE); a presentation on the 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul next May; an update on the progression and implementation of the Reference Labs Strategy; and an update on the 2nd International Forum for the Aftercare of Horses as well as a panel discussion on racecourse aftercare, which will be led by IFHA Vice-Chairman Jim Gagliano, who is also the president of The Jockey Club.

The afternoon will feature sessions led by the IFHA’s other two vice-chairmen. Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges will lead panels on “International Strategy: Transitioning from a local to a global market,” while Kavanagh will oversee discussions on “Challenges facing the European Breeding and Racing Industry.”

The first panel will cover topics including Japanese simulcasting, the PMU 2020 strategy, and the HKJC’s commingling strategy, while the second will take a look at the implications of Brexit on the movement of horses in and out of Great Britain as well as give an update on the work of the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF).

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, under the chairmanship of its Director General, Jean Romanet, the father of Louis. Since 1994, the annual conference has been organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities at France Galop and chaired by Louis Romanet.
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
• 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).
For additional information, please contact: Andrew Chesser, IFHA Secretary General,, +1-859-224-2741