Program for the Seventh International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses Announced
The International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) has announced the program for its seventh conference, which will take place in conjunction with the 39th Asian Racing Conference (ARC), organized by the Asian Racing Federation (ARF). The ARC is scheduled for 14-19 February 2023, in Melbourne, Australia, and will be hosted by Racing Victoria (RV). The IFAR conference will be held on Tuesday, 14 February, and for the first time, it will offer a full day program incorporating the forum and an aftercare facility visit.
The morning session will feature a visit to Spring Creek Equine, which is located in the Yarra Valley, approximately 50 kilometers from Melbourne. Founders Samantha Cesnik and Chris Height are RV Acknowledged Retrainers and are also involved in RV’s RESET (Racehorse Evaluation Support Education and Training) Program.
Following the on-site visit, the formal program will commence in the afternoon at the Crown Conference Centre in Melbourne. The keynote address will be delivered by Tim Gilbert, Australian sports media personality and host of Racing Dreams, a program focused on Thoroughbred horse ownership and the racing industry.
“We are proud of our lineup of speakers and the depth of knowledge that will be shared during our conference,” said Di Arbuthnot, chair of the IFAR Steering Group. “I am confident that everyone will take away important information as we work to continue to improve the aftercare of racehorses around the world. We are also excited to announce Spring Creek Equine as our aftercare facility visit. Being able to see the hands-on work that is being done for our retired athletes is a valuable experience for all of our attendees.”
Additional speakers scheduled to take part in the forum include Kim Duffy, the Senior Animal Care Manager and Off-The-Track Program Manager for Racing Queensland; clinical ethologist and horse and elephant trainer Andrew McLean, who holds a PhD in equine cognition and founded the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre; and Professor Seungho Ryu, who is from the Department of Equine Resources Science at Cheju Halla University and was the former general manager of the International Department at the Korea Racing Authority (KRA). Duffy will present on the success of racehorse aftercare in Queensland; McLean will discuss training for success both on and off the track; and Ryu will cover practical tools to screen for temperament and the importance of transition training.
Several panels will also be part of the forum. The first, New Models for Industry Cooperation, will include Martin Burns, General Manager – Welfare & Sustainability at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Inc.; Karen Day, General Manager for Equine Welfare and Traceability, Racing Australia; Dr. Atsushi Kikuta, Director of Equine and Stewards Department for the Japan Racing Association (JRA); Tasha Rose, Executive Manager, Equestrian Affairs Projects for the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC); and Melissa Ware, General Manager – Equine Welfare, RV.
The second panel, Realising Athletic Potential, will feature McLean as well as eventer Tim Boland, who is the owner/manager of Limitless Lodge in New South Wales and responsible for the foundation training of such racing champions as Winx and Chatauqua; Jessica Bott, show jump rider, riding coach, and member of the Channel 7 Racing broadcast team; Amanda Ross, Olympic event rider and Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Ambassador for Equestrian Australia; and Kazuma Tomoto, Japanese equestrian who finished fourth in the individual eventing competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Details on how register for the seventh International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses will be made available soon. The entire conference program is available here.
The IFAR conference will be receiving assistance from the JRA, which has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement to support the activities of the organisation.
Prior to the virtual conference series in 2022 and 2021, IFAR had previously been held in conjunction with the Asian Racing Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in February 2020; the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation’s General Assembly in Oslo, Norway, in May 2019; the Asian Racing Conference in Seoul, South Korea, in May 2018; and the Pan American Conference in Washington, D.C., in May 2017.
For more information about the Asian Racing Conference and how to register for it, please visit https://arcmelbourne2023.com.
IFAR is an independent forum that recognises geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care, and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports. For more information on IFAR, visit https://www.internationalracehorseaftercare.com.