Theresa Sealy and Brandon Duchaine are representing Canada in Rome, Italy this week for the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference. Theresa wears three hats during the year because she works for Olds College as the Racetrack Programs Coordinator, Horse Racing Alberta as the Assistant Backstretch Programs Coordinator and as the On Track Representative for Alberta HBPA. Brandon Duchaine is an apprentice jockey, and a graduate of the Olds College Racetrack Programs. Theresa is on the Academic Committee for the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, and their meeting is this week in Rome during the World Arabian Racing Conference. Brandon has been invited as an apprentice rider from Canada to ride in a race in Rome to qualify for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship. The race is Sunday, May 29 at the Capannelle Racecourse outside of Rome.
In 24 hours since their arrival, the two have already experienced some of the classic sights of Rome – but not just as tourists. The Conference went all out to give the 500 conference attendees from 80 countries an unforgettable taste of the history and culture in Rome, and arranged a private tour of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Private gallery tour, cocktails in Vatican gardens and then an unheard of welcome dinner at the Vatican.
The draw for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice race was held at the opening press conference yesterday, and Brandon drew a horse named Unica Dorada and post position 3 for his race. This is Brandon’s third International race, he won a similar race in Warsaw, Poland last July and then rode in the Finals of the World Championship in Abu Dhabi in November. He was also singled out in November to work with Simon Milton, a motivational coach/sports coach from Ipswich Football Club in the U.K., and had an opportunity to ride racing simulators for jockey coaches from Australia, England, Ireland, South Africa and Argentina. The chance to learn new skills and share ideas with coaches from across the world is an incredible gift to any apprentice or amateur rider.
HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival has provided amazing opportunities to amateur and apprentice jockeys. They are invited to participate in races literally around the world, which not only exposes them to different courses, rules, trainers and horses, but their participation in the conference workshops gives riders an unbelievable network of people to meet and learn from. Theresa Sealy says “This is a wonderful opportunity, not only for racing but for life experience for our young riders. They will never again get a chance to meet professional horsemen from all ends of the world that are experts in their fields. Since becoming part of the festival, our Canadian graduates have had opportunities like never before - travelling to ride at racetracks in Sweden, Morocco, Poland, Abu Dhabi, and Italy!” About being in Rome with former student Brandon, Theresa says “The chance for our graduate Brandon to represent not only Olds College and Horse Racing Alberta but all of Canada is such a proud moment! Not in my lifetime did I think that I would have an opportunity to share these experiences with a student! I feel blessed to be part of this.”
The conference workshops continue for the next three days, and topic include Education and Safety in Racing, Weight Loss Control and Nutrition for Jockeys, Media and Marketing, Women in Racing and Rules and Conditions. Each night during the conference attendees will attend gala dinners at different venues every night to continue to enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of Italy!
The highlight of the conference will be the races at Capannelle, sponsored by Emirates. With three Arabian races on the card for the Amateur Ladies Jockeys, Apprentice Jockeys and a Stakes for Purebred Arabians, it will be an interesting day for all of the attendees. We’re wishing Brandon a safe trip and look forward to hearing more about his time in Rome!
- Brandon warming up his mount at Capannelle Racecourse Brandon warming up his mount at Capannelle Racecourse
- City view of Rome City view of Rome
- WAHRC Poster WAHRC Poster
- Tapestry from Sistene Chapel tour Tapestry from Sistene Chapel tour