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FEI and IFHA Join Forces

Lausanne (SUI), 31 March 2014

First Meeting of the International Horse Sports Confederation - Focus on Horse Welfare

At the first meeting of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC), the FEI and the IFHA confirmed that they share the same core values of protecting horse welfare and discussed in detail the different models under which both organisations operate.

The two organisations came to the conclusion that there are many commonalities and opportunities for further cooperation. Although there are operational differences due to regulatory requirements of our sports, both organisations are united by the horse and a shared philosophy built on our common values.

The FEI and the IFHA have joined forces by the creation of the IHSC and agreed on the priority to work together in the following fields always with the aim of ensuring the highest standards for welfare of the horse:

  • The continued commitment to fight against doping and any abuse of horses;
  • The cooperation with the OIE to facilitate the international movement of horses through the adoption of the concept of the “High Health High Performance Horse (HHP)”;
  • Assist the industry by surveillance of and reporting of diseases;
  • The creation of a Fund for joint initiatives to support the horse sports industry;

Further to recent allegations in the United States of America raised by PETA and reported on 20 March 2014, the IHSC strongly declares that animal cruelty has no place in its sports and urges the US Authorities which are investigating these allegations to leave no stone unturned.

Moreover, the IHSC calls on PETA to immediately and as a matter of urgency share with the relevant regulatory bodies all the materials they may still hold with regard to horse welfare in order to allow them to undertake the necessary actions.

Working groups were established to deal with the issues listed above.

FEI President HRH Princess Haya (centre), was appointed President of the International Horse Sports Confederation at its first meeting last weekend. Louis Romanet (right of Princess Haya), Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), was appointed IHSC Vice President. Other attendees at the meeting were (from left) Graeme Cooke, FEI Veterinary Director; Ingmar De Vos, FEI Secretary General; John McEwen, FEI 1st Vice President and Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee; Pablo Mayorga, FEI 2nd Vice President; Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and Vice Chairman of the IFHA; Andrew Harding, Secretary General of the Asian Racing Federation, IFHA Regional Technical Adviser (Asia) and Director of Racing Development HKJC; Dr Roland Devolz, IFHA Technical Advisor; Dr Anthony Kettle, Secretary of IFHA International Movement of Horses Committee (IMHC) and Head of Veterinary Department at Dubai Racing Club. (Photo: Richard Juilliart/FEI)

Editors’ Notes

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein, President of the FEI, was appointed as the President of the IHSC. Louis Romanet, Chairman of the IFHA, was appointed as the Vice-President.

Other attendees at the meeting were, from the FEI: John McEwen, 1st Vice President, Pablo Mayorga, 2nd Vice President, Ingmar De Vos, CEO and Secretary General, and Graeme Cooke, Director, Veterinary Department; and from the IFHA: Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Vice-Chairman, Andrew Harding, Special Counsellor to the IFHA Chairman, Dr Roland Devolz, Technical Advisor, Andrew Chesser, Deputy Secretary General, and Dr Anthony Kettle, Secretary IMHC, IFHA OIE Liaison.

The IHSC Secretariat will be managed by Ingmar De Vos and Andrew Harding. The Confederation Secretariat will be based at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) at the HM King Hussein I Building.

About the FEI

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Dressage & Para-Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Driving & Para-Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining.

The FEI establishes the regulations and approves equestrian programmes at Championships, Continental and Regional Games as well as the Olympic & Paralympic Games.

The FEI is based on the principle of equality and mutual respect between all 132 affiliated National Federations, without prejudice to race, religion or internal politics.

The FEI promotes equestrianism in all its forms and encourages the development of the FEI equestrian disciplines throughout the world. The core values of the FEI are: fair play, equality, complicity with the animal and respect for the horse and the environment.

About the IFHA

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has as its members racing authorities from approximately 60 countries throughout the world.

Every year, the Federation organizes the International Conference, which updates the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering endorsed by the conference in 1974.

Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:

  • Protection of the welfare of horses and riders
  • International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
  • World Rankings
  • Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
  • Harmonisation of Race Day Rules
  • Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally