IFHRA Mentorship Program Promotes Professionals in Racing

17 students finish programs in different countries

HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Lara Sawaya

HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Lara Sawaya

4 November 2017, Abu Dhabi ~ The International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, (IFHRA) Mentorship Program had a successful year in 2017 with 18 students taking advantage of the opportunity to make use of the Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF) to learn about racing in other countries.

Of the 18 students coming from Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Oman, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Sweden, South Africa, United Kingdom and the USA, 14 have already completed their program, while two are undergoing training and one is likely to start on 9 December 2017.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival, was equally elated over the success of the program. “IFHRA opened its doors in 2014 November but the RSF programmes started in 2016. Many successful youngsters have availed of this scholarship, thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“The RSF’s goal is to improve the horse racing and breeding industry workforce by providing deserving racing academy students or recent graduates with an opportunity to gain new knowledge and experience in equitation and overall horsemanship, while learning about new culture and customs.”.

During the upcoming HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak IFHRA Conference For Training and Education on 9 November 2017 in Abu Dhabi, there will be a workshop on The IFHRA Mentorship Program: New Horizons for Students. The discussion, moderated by Derek Thompson, will have speakers Remi Bellocq, Executive Director, North American Racing Academy and General Secretary of IFHRA; Melissa Weatherley, Athlete and Careers Development Manager, Racing Victoria; Keith Rowe, Director, Racing Academy and Centre of Education, Ireland; and Jack Pilkington, RACE Graduate/2017 Mentorship Recipient, who is currently an Assistant Trainer in Dubai.

The conference is part of the One World, Six Continents” Abu Dhabi, The Capital, which features the grand finale of the His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Festival races and the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabian horses, the €1.2Million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown on 10 November.

“The RSF program is part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival with the aim to provide professional mentorship opportunities for students outside their own countries. The students must be either currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from an IFHRA member Racing Academy or national representative.


Any candidate between the age group of 18-29 and employed within the racing industry either as an amateur jockey or apprentice jockey or involved in some other racing activity is eligible for this scholarship fund. The His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival-supported mentorship program lasts a maximum of eight weeks and takes place in a country other than where the incumbent resides.

According to the RSF guidelines, the candidate should have finished at least one year or graduated from a racing academy based in his/her home country or other entity that provides horse racing or related industry workforce training.

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 with  and sponsored by Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC,  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.
~ end