Focus on weight control, injured jockeys
27 May 2016, Rome, Italy ~ Over 38 representatives from 30 different countries attended the fifth General Assembly meeting of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, (IFHRA), which was held on 27 2016, at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, in Rome, Italy. The meeting, held on the sidelines of the seventh World Arabian Horse Racing Conference, was part of the His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
Attendees from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Portugal, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scandinavia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States gathered at the early morning meeting chaired by Ms Lara Sawaya, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
The meeting, was open not only for voting members of the IFHRA Board of Directors, but also to non-voting representatives, technical advisors and observers and was co-chaired by Australian Chris Watson in the absence of Remi Bellocq (US), General Secretary of IFHRA. Bellocq, not able to attend in person, participated via Skype, as did three other representatives.
The members delved into the issue of jockey weight control and Ms Sawaya stated that the young jockeys need to be educated on this important issue as they are the future stars. While stressing that many young jockeys resort to unhealthy methods to lose weight, Sawaya volunteered that Dr George Wilson and his team from Liverpool John Moore University who are involved in research on this topic, would attend all future IFHRA meetings.
“The research and outcomes are a priority for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and all racing academies should ensure that healthy weight control is being taught to apprentices in their schools. If we don’t take steps, no one will do it,” Ms Sawaya added.
Sawaya also stated that Dr Wilson will be responsible for conducting weight control workshops with apprentices, jockeys, and amateur riders during the year-end finale of the Festival in Abu Dhabi from 7-14 November 2016.
Another issue that was of prime interest was the welfare and financial compensation for jockeys suffering from long-term or career ending injuries. The UK, Ireland, US, France, Australia, Italy and Turkey representatives spoke about welfare programs implemented in their respective countries. Ms Lara promised she will look at the best practice models in Australia, UK, and Italy during her visits to those countries and report to the next meeting on her findings and recommendations. She reminded everyone that the Festival contributed $100,000 earlier this year to Santa Anita Racecourse jockey fund for the benefit of injured jockeys.
Regarding the temporary suspension of Japan from IFHRA, it was decided that Ms Sawaya will visit the country in June and sort out the issue. Suspension of Hungary will continue until a letter of clarification is issued from the Hungarian Ministry of sports, she reiterated.
Remi Bellocq, reporting on the progress of the IFHRA Mentorship Program, stated that eight participants have completed or are in the final stages of completing their placement. An additional three participants will commence the program in the forthcoming months.
Mara Coote Freeman from Canada held a presentation on behalf of the IFHRA Communication Committee, updating Board members on recent changes and developments in the IFHRA website and its new functions and on IFHRA’s successful entry into social media, including Facebook.
Bahrain was admitted as a member of IFHRA and Grant Harris was selected as a member of the Academic Sub-Committee.
All the members of the IFHRA were invited to attend the ADIHEX exhibition scheduled from 4-8 October 2016.
The next General Assembly of IFHRA will be held during the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nayhan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which will be held in Abu Dhabi from 7-14 November.
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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.
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