Four new members join as IFHRA holds GA in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, UAE
The General Assembly of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) was held at the National Archives, Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 on the sidelines of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival's 'One World Six Continents' programme.
Representatives from as many as 39 counties took part in the meeting which was telecast live on YAS TV and the Festival’s Web TV.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) presided over the meeting which was deliberated by Remi Bellocq, IFHRA General Secretary.
Ms. Sawaya hailed the success of 2015-2016 season. "We are very proud that IFHRA has achieved a lot in its short term and I would like to thank every single country who helped IFHRA move ahead. Our efforts in boosting Arabian horses and fulfilling the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs on future jockeys has come out with positive results" she said.
Topics on the agenda included were Racing Scholarship Fund Mentorship programme, communications and social Media, online courses and continuing education and IFHRA races and riders.
The highlight of the meeting was the acceptance of four new members to IFHRA including Greece, Peru, Cyprus and Chile.
Earlier Ms. Sawaya, while discussing RSF mentorship programme, suggested those students who missed in the current year be accommodated in the coming year. She said once a country nominates its student for the programme, there will not be any changes at all as this had led to lot of misunderstanding during the first year. "His Highness Sheikh Mansoor's vision is to utilize the RSF in the right direction as we keep looking towards the future’.
Regarding the role of communication and social media, Ms. Sawaya said IFHRA will develop an Instagram account (which was done immediately) to supplement its Facebook page. She was of the view that the IFHRA website should serve mainly as a resource library populated with content having a "long shelf life" and to leave the more time-bound communications to the HH Sheikh Mansoor platform.
She also mentioned that the Festival was in talks with YouTube and Google to strengthen its activities and reach more people.
While discussing the RSF mentorship programme, Bellocq suggested that IFHRA could consider fewer scholarships in terms of quality as against quantity. He suggested that student exchanges should be mentor-oriented and requested proposed mentors to put in time and efforts in teaching and evaluating the RSF student they would be mentoring.
Several representatives from different countries shared their experiences of sending and hosting students under RSF programme. They all applauded the efforts of the Festival in helping out jockeys.
Ms. Sawaya reiterated that the proposed Arabian Horse Data Base, supported by the Festival in association with Equibase, Paris Turf and Racing Post will be launched in Morocco in May, 2017 during the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference.
The next meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi in February, 2017, during the UAE President Endurance Cup.
On Saturday, the Festival staged the IFHRA student workshop at Anantara Eastern Mangroves for the Lady, Apprentice and other jockeys. The young and aspiring jockeys were given lessons and demonstrations on various aspects like riding, diet, exercise, media etc. by some of the best coaches and Professional Jockeys.
IFHRA is the brainchild of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi.
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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, 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, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.