Monday, October 12, 2020Contact: Andrew Chesser
Trainers, Jockeys Discuss Working in a Pandemic During Virtual 2020 IFHA Conference

The 54th International Conference of Horseracing Authorities, organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), continued today with a discussion on participating and working in racing during the on-going pandemic.

The IFHA Conference is typically held in-person in Paris, France, the day after the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), but in light of COVID-19, this year it is being conducted as a series of videos released during the first two weeks of October.

The third session was introduced by IFHA Vice-Chairman Brian Kavanagh, who is the chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland. Rishi Persad then moderated a panel featuring leading trainers and jockeys from around the globe. The pre-recorded Zoom discussion included trainers Charlie Appleby (Great Britain), Ger Lyons (Ireland), and Chris Waller (Australia) as well as jockeys Hollie Doyle (Great Britain) and Zac Purton (Hong Kong).

This international panel of trainers and jockeys discussed their experiences participating in racing during a pandemic, including the challenges surrounding staffing and how they are meeting the needs of owners. In addition, they offered commentary and feedback to racing administrators on concerns they have going forward as well as provided insight on the impact the pandemic and its restrictions have had on the mental health of both humans and horses.

All videos from the International Conference of Horseracing Authorities will be released on the IFHA’s YouTube channel, its website (, and its social media platforms. They will also be available as podcasts.

The first session (How to sustain the business of racing, as well as sports in general, in the midst of a pandemic and economic uncertainty), second session (Adapting the broadcast production, and media experience to a COVID-19 racing and sporting landscape), and keynote address have already been published.

The final video/podcast will be sent out Wednesday 14th October, and it will cover preparing for and sustaining racing in a post-COVID 19 world.

The first International Conference of Horseracing Authorities was organized and hosted by the Société d'Encouragement in Paris, France, on October 9, 1967. Since 1994, the annual conference has been organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities at France Galop. In 2019, the conference convened delegates from more than 50 different countries with a number of other racing executives and media members in attendance.
About IFHA

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing. Its members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage Thoroughbred races.

Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:

    •           Making and amending the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (the IABRW)
    •           Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
    •           International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
    •           World Rankings
    •           The fight against Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
    •           Harmonization of Racing Rules
    •           Certification of IFHA Reference Labs
    •           Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally

The IFHA is a foundation member with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

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