Fourth GA meet held in Abu Dhabi
14 February 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ The fourth General Assembly meeting of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, (IFHRA), was held on Friday, 12 February 2016, at the National Archive premises in Abu Dhabi.
The IFHRA purpose is to nurture young jockeys and race professionals into the world of racing with the aid of co-ordinated programs from the many racing schools involved. Representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Malaysia, Oman, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the highly interactive meeting which was 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 coordinated by Remi Bellocq, General Secretary of IFHRA.
Ms Sawaya stated that for the first time the world-famous Darley awards held annually at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will have an additional category, IFHRA Best Apprentice Lady Jockey, and member-country nominees will be invited. She stated that generous support from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has allowed such support and encouragement for lady jockeys all over the world.
While elaborating on the activities of the Federation, Ms Sawaya said that it was a proud moment for the organization as more countries were coming in and showing keen interest to be active members. She encouraged more schools to join the Federation, as it gives the jockeys many added benefits as well as the school’s ability to showcase their jockey’s performances around the world. “We want to grow bigger and bigger,” Ms Sawaya asserted.
The members approved the minutes of the November meeting. The Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF) Mentorship program, begun earlier this year under which young jockeys get an opportunity to travel to other race school programs in different countries, is now placing 12 young students into the program. The first student is finishing his scholarship program in Australia and had some very exciting race wins during his mentorship.
Regarding another very important program for IFHRA, the Health, Welfare and Safety Plan, Dr. Pritchard, IFHRA Medical Advisor said, “We must help these jockeys with their physical and mental health and also with their fitness opportunities.” Teaching young jockeys to eat properly without damaging their health and keep their weight in order is the focus of this group.
Other items discussed were: Rider coaching clinics, travel insurance for mentored jockeys, and the progress of a new Website and Facebook participation.
The IFHRA General Assembly meeting was held on the sidelines of two prestigious events taking place in Abu Dhabi on 13 and 14 February 2016. The President of the UAE Endurance Cup ran on Saturday, and on Sunday, the HH The President’s Cup flat races for Purebred Arabians and Thoroughbreds was also run under the umbrella of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
Ms Sawaya stated that the next General Assembly meeting will be held in May in Rome, Italy, as part of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference which is scheduled to be held from 23-29 May 2016.