UK Jockey Begins Mentorship Program in Australia

HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival-supported initiative kicks off 7 January

IFHRA General Assembly 2015

IFHRA General Assembly 2015

5 January 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ The much-awaited Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF), a first of its kind mentorship program initiated by the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) headquartered in Abu Dhabi, kick-starts with British apprentice Tom Marquand heading for his mentorship program in Australia on 7 January 2016. The 18-year-old jockey/rider will begin a four-week program funded by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival.

Candidates from 12 different countries were selected for the mentorship under the RSF program during the IFHRA General Assembly meeting held in November 2015 in Abu Dhabi. Marquand is the first candidate to start off this eagerly awaited sponsored event. Marquand will be assisted in his training by Richard Perham of the British Racing School, UK, and Matt Hyland and Melisa Weatherley will also help him during his stint in Victoria, Australia.

The board had received 19 applications for the scholarship scheme out of which the RSF Selection Committee paired down to 12 applicants from around the globe. Other candidates were selected from Australia, Canada, Hungary, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States, and they will soon start their mentorship programs.


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.

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), thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential affairs, for his innovative initiative in evolving a plan to train and fund young riders.

“The IFHRA Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF) is designed to benefit both students of IFHRA member racing academies and employers within the horse racing and related industries. Students will work abroad in real-world situations gaining experience and benefitting from mentorships which will be a long-term benefit to future careers. At the same time, future employers will also benefit from students who have experienced from the IFHRA RSF and who have therefore gained training in the newest practices our industry offers.”

“The goal is to improve the horse racing and breeding industry workforce by providing deserving racing academy students or recent graduates with the opportunity to gain new training and experience within the horse racing industry and related disciplines, while learning about new cultures and customs,” Sawaya added.

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, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, 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, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post, Paris Turf and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.

~ end supplied release