IFHRA General Assembly Held in Abu Dhabi

More members join IFHRA and Mentorship program expands

10 February 2017, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Two new countries, Algeria and Spain, joined the ever-growing International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, IFHRA, taking the total number of members to 54.

This was disclosed at the first 2017 General Assembly held in Abu Dhabi, on Friday, 10 February 2017, at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

The meeting was held on sidelines of the His Highness The President of the UAE Endurance Cup and His Highness The President of the UAE Flat races, scheduled to be held in the capital city of Abu Dhabi on February 11 and 12, 2017.

First on the agenda, chaired by Remi Bellocq (US), IFHRA General Secretary, was the approval of the 2017 Mentorship candidate jockeys, a list of 17 candidates found eligible for the RSF Mentorship. Representatives from different member-countries had sent in their applications for consideration for the Mentorship Program which began in 2016. The first year’s program was well accepted with 13 candidates having left for mentorship programs in other countries.

The IFHRA Mentorship program is part of the His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival with a fund set up to provide professional mentorship opportunities abroad for students who are currently enrolled in or who have recently graduated from an IFHRA member Racing Academy or national representative. The goal is to improve horse racing and breeding as an industry workforce by providing deserving racing academy students or recent graduates with the opportunity to gain new knowledge and experience in equitation and overall horsemanship, while learning about new culture and customs.

Ms. Lara Sawaya, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) opened with the statement that IFHRA, the only one of its kind in the world, has grown in its stature in a very short span time of two years. This has been a boost for those involved in the horse racing industry, especially jockeys, for whose welfare the Federation has been founded. Ms Sawaya emphasized that the fund will be used to promote students from IFHRA member-countries.

While discussing the General Assembly, Ms Sawaya stated that it will henceforth be held in conjunction with the HH The President Cup for endurance and flat racing in Abu Dhabi, which is the headquarters of IFHRA.

Ms Sawaya welcomed the two new members, Algeria and Spain, represented by Ahmed Rayane, Executive Director, Societe’ des Courses d’Algerie and Ms Barbara de Mieulle, Spanish Jockey Club, respectively.

The other member countries attending included Australia, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Malaysia, The Nethernlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay. Many other members took part in the discussions via Skype.

Ms Sawaya added that IFHRA is the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and has a vision to support and educate jockeys from all over the globe.

While discussing the Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF) program, Ms Sawaya also added that an orientation program will henceforth be held for all the candidates to introduce them to the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and the role of IFHRA. “In this direction we are also considering signing a contract with the selected candidates so that they will adhere by the RSF and IFHRA guidelines,” she said.

Eligible countries include Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, South Korea, Denmark, Australia, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Canada and Poland. The representatives from these countries who attended the meeting were given an opportunity to explain the worthiness of the respective candidates for the Mentorship Program.

Representatives from both the new members, Algeria and Spain, said they were delighted to be part of the program and Algerian representative Ahmed Rayane said they were looking forward to host four festival rides this year.

After the discussion on the RSF program the meeting also discussed mentorship funding/reimbursement plan, job exchange program. The meeting also deliberated on the development and progress of social media platforms and the website.

The next IFHRA meeting will be held during the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference, from 2-8 May 2017 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The  National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare  and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club,  Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf,  Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

~eEnd supplied report