Innovation Key At IFHA Conference

POSTED ON  |  04-10-2017

Louis Romanet IFHA
Paris, FRANCE–Innovation was a common theme at the 51st International Conference of Horseracing Authorities hosted by Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris on Monday. The discussions and presentations included a panel on racehorse aftercare; an update on the redevelopment of two of Europe’s key racecourses, The Curragh and Longchamp; the transition of racing on wagering from a local to a global market; and how the racing and breeding industries will be affected by Brexit.

Aftercare: An International Responsibility…

“Aftercare initiatives are, and should always be, an essential part of our business planning regardless of geography,” said IFHA Vice Chairman Jim Gagliano, also vice president and chief executive officer of the Jockey Club, in opening a panel on Thoroughbred aftercare. “If we hope to prosper as an entertainment option, we need others to know that we’re taking good care of our horses.” Gagliano provided a recap of the key points presented by the International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses at the Pan American Conference in May. IFAR’s objectives are to raise awareness, improve education on, develop a network for and promote racehorse aftercare on a global scale. In its first year it has targeted its audience through direct communication and media coverage, and has generated keen interest worldwide.

“International interest and participation in IFAR before and after the conference has been overwhelming in the best sense of the term,” Gagliano said. The second IFAR forum will be held in conjunction with the 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul, South Korea May 13 to 18, 2018.

Gagliano pointed to one specific initiative as a success story for Thoroughbreds and wider communities: the Man O’War project, which was spearheaded by horse owner and philanthropist Earle Mack to measure the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy for war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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