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IFHRA approves 12 names for racing scholarship
IFHRA Assembly in Abu Dhabi

The General Assembly meeting of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), which was held on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi, approved 12 names to receive the Racing Scholarship Fund, RSF, a first of its kind mentorship programme initiated by the IFHRA.

The board had received 19 applications for the scholarship scheme out of which the RSF Selection Committee zeroed down on 12 applicants representing different countries. Those selected are Regan Bayliss from Australia, Ashley Edwards from Canada, Barbara Szentes from Hungary, Ryan McKeever from Ireland, Soungyi from Korea, Kamic Grzybowski from Poland, Nicolle Disdier from Puerto Rico, Eva Thilderkvist from Sweden, Vahdettin Kaplan from Turkey, Aaron West from the United States and Tom Marquand and Ryan Colley from the United Kingdom.

Representatives from several countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bahrain, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Slovakia, UAE, United Kingdom and United States attended the meeting.

The IFHRA General Assembly meeting was part of the “One World’ Six Continents” event held under the umbrella of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Chairperson of IFHRA, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) preside over the meeting with all board members in attendance. She thanked His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, without whose strong support the event would not have been so successful.

She also thanked Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, President of the General Women's Union – Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council –, for her continuous support to Pure-bred Arabian horse racing all over the globe which has brought out a new generation of young riders.

Saada Antypas representing Brazil in the Assembly
Saada Antypas representing Brazil in the Assembly

At the outset Remi Bellocq, General Secretary of IFHRA, who deliberated the discussions, got the approval of the minutes of the September 8, 2015 meeting from all the members and several topics were opened up for discussion. He thanked His Highness Sheikh Mansoor for his generous contribution to the scholarship fund which will help several jockeys to get good training in different countries.

After the RSF names were approved, the meeting laid heavy focus on the safety Procedures at Partner Tracks, at the backdrop of the recent death of a young jockey after her fall during a racing event in Brazil. It was unanimously decided that each race track has its own characters and it will be difficult to formulate rules to cut down on such mishaps. It was also decided that all possible efforts should be made to ensure safety of the riders and check that the venues meet the safety criterion.

The Board also recommended a prior assessment of the track one day before the event and suggested that the riders should be told about the condition of the track, depending on which he/she can take a decision to race or not.

Other topics included the 2016 racing schedule and IFHRA meetings. Another meeting of the board has been scheduled for February.

While admitting three new members into the IFHRA family including Uruguay, Switzerland and Russia, Ms Sawaya made it a point to state that many countries were showing interest in joining the Federation and very soon Ecuador, Peru, Bahrain and Chile will be admitted.

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 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 Invest AD, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC),  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 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.

Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival / Bharathi Gowda
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