Canada presents HRA Racetrack Programs to the World
On November 5th – 9th 2014 the racing contingencies of the world came together in Abu Dhabi for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival – One World, 6 Continents. A large part of this festival is the second time holding the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak International Conference on Education and Training. Theresa Sealy of Horse Racing Alberta and Olds College was invited to represent Canada in an all-expense paid trip to Abu Dhabi to represent Canada’s racing school.
Two full days of learning with information on how other racing schools are run, training and prevention of racing accidents, jockeys as high performance athletes, Media Training for industry, jockey diet and weight control, and the future of racing. Racing schools were represented from the UK, Germany, US, Turkey, Australia, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Japan, South Africa, and of course Canada.
On November 9th 2014 His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs has initiated the start of a Federation to nurture and give a positive direction to racing school students and graduates. The result of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor’s instructions has now given birth to the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), a body which will be headquartered in Abu Dhabi.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR, representing Lebanon and the UAE will be the Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) while Susanna Santesson of Germany was named as the Vice Chairman. The following is the full list of the new Federation:
The Executive Board (IFHRA) comprises of:
- Chairman: Lara Sawaya (Lebanon/ UAE)
- Vice Chairman: Susanna Santesson ( Germany)
Members: Remy Bellocq (USA), Dr Koji Sacamoto (Japan), Ku Sun Kim (Korea), Melissa Weatherley (Australia); Keith Rowe (Ireland); Grant Harris (UK); Christopher Watson (Turkey); Tex Lerena (South Africa); Pat Buckley (Ireland); and Martial Boisseuil (France), Dawn Goofellow/Great Britain, Matthiew Hyland/Australia, Lee Send He/Malaysia, Theresa Sealy/Canada, Julie Brewster/Canada, and Enrico Querci/Italy.
The main purpose of the federation is to ensure communication between various racing schools and academies, to provide an effort to shape the racing school students and graduates, and to help steer them into the professional world of flat racing. The IFHRA members agreed that the first order of business will be the creation and establishment of an IFHRA Student Exchange Program for 2015.
The main objectives will be to work out a possible structure of this program will now be undertaken. Much of the discussion will be around the length of mentorships, estimated costs for travel, room and board per student, eligibility requirements for students, selection of host trainers, and minimum standards required of students and trainers during mentorship.
The next meeting of the IFHRA Board has been tentatively scheduled for the month of January, 2015 and will be held in Abu Dhabi, which will be the headquarters of IFHRA.
What does this mean for Canadian Racing and our youth? This puts Horse Racing Alberta and Olds College on an international stage in the racing world, giving the opportunities for students from all over the world to come to Canada to train and add value to our racing jurisdictions. This creates amazing opportunities for our students and graduates of the HRA/Olds College Racetrack programs to travel the world and learn. The world is at their fingertips.