IFHRA unveils Racing Scholarship Fund

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The International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, IFHRA, at its General Assembly meeting held on Friday, May 29, 2015, at Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland, unveiled an innovative IFHRA Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF) and also admitted 14 new members to the Federation.

An amount of US $100,000 has been earmarked for the IFHRA Racing Scholarship Fund and is expected to initially benefit between 10-20 apprentice jockeys to spend around two months each with reputed mentors. The concept is based on providing students with valuable continuing educational opportunities in the event they choose a new path within horse racing and related industries.

Ms Lara Sawaya , Chairman 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 Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities, said: “This Fund will help provide professional mentorship opportunities abroad for students who are currently enrolled in or who have recently graduated from an IFHRA member Racing Academy or national representative. 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 knowledge and experience in equitation and overall horsemanship, while learning about new culture and customs.”

Explaining details of the IFHRA RSF, Mr. Remi Bellocq, General Secretary of IFHRA, said: “The Fund is designed to benefit both students of IFHRA members and employers within the horse racing and breeding industries. Students will work abroad in real-world situations gaining experience and benefitting from mentorship which will be a long-term benefit to future careers.”

He further added that at the same time future employers will also benefit from students who have experienced the IFHRA RSF and who have therefore gained training in the newest practices the industry offers.”

The IFHRA meeting was held on the sidelines of the The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s sixth World Arabian Horse Racing conference which is currently going on in Warsaw in Poland.

Meanwhile IFHRA also admitted 14 new members to its body during the current meeting including Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Morocco, Sultanate of Oman, Portugal, Poland, Turkey, Slovakia and Sweden whereas the membership of two more countries, Bahrain and Switzerland, are pending.

The Federation also appointed Mr. Pat Buckley as the Vice- Chairman following the demise of Ms Susanne Santesson earlier this year.

Members were urged to provide details on a regular basis for the official website to benefit all equestrian aficionados.

The meeting also decided to form a sub-committee to look into the insurance aspect for participating apprentice jockeys.

IFHRA was founded in 2014 under the instructions of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and had a record number of 18 countries at the time of inception. It has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The next IFHRA meeting will be held during the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, ADIHEX which will be held in Abu Dhabi from September 9 to 13, 2015. IFHAR Chairman Ms Lara Sawaya invited all IFHAR member-countries to make use of this opportunity and represent their countries at the IFHAR stall.