46th ICHA – 8 OCTOBER 2012
CLOSING REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN
Today, 52 countries were represented (49 members and 3 observers).
We have been listening to various presentations during the day and there were many other meetings organized during the previous week.
So what are the principal conclusions of these meetings and of today’s Conference ?
A- GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND REGULATORY ISSUES
1- Review of the Governance of IFHA
As I presented it to you this morning, we have decided to review the governance of IFHA in order to attribute more specific missions to the Chairman and the three Vice-Chairmen who have been elected last March for a term starting today and finishing in October 2015.
The distribution of responsibilities wil be finalized at the Executive Council tomorrow morning and implemented immediately.
The three Vice-Chairmen are representing Americas, Asia and Europe and Mediterranea but they wil be in charge of specific missions on a world basis.
After the transformation of the Asian Racing Conference in the Asian Racing Federation in 2001 and the creation of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation in 2010, we are happy that representatives of North and South America have decided to hold a
meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss the formation of a future Pan American Conference.
OSAF is a wel established organization, created in 1958 and which has recently reviewed its structure.
I am absolutely convinced that there are many issues justifying a global Pan American Conference like medication, simulcasting, Stud Book matters, international ratings, interference rules or others.
When it wil have been accomplished, we wil have with IFHA a global organization supported by three very strong regional organisations or structures.
I want to thank very warmly my three Vice Chairmen who are working very hard on these issues.
I am also delighted that we wil now have a cross-representation between our Executive Council and the International Stud Book Committee.
I am final y total y satisfied by the success of our new fee structure who has made it possible to reconstitute our reserves while reducing by half the charge for the countries facing a difficult financial situation.
2- Review of the Executive Office of IFHA
The departure of Aki Akitani after the Executive Council of March 31st 2013 is a big chal enge for us.
The progressive stepping down of Roland Devolz during the next three years is another one.
So I am very grateful to the ARF, the US Jockey Club, OSAF, the EMHF, Weatherbys and France Galop for giving us on a part time basis the support of such excel ent persons as :
- Andrew Harding, from Asia - Matt Iuliano and Andrew Chesser from USA
- Dr Ignacio Pavlovsky from OSAF - Dr Paull Khan from Weatherbys and EMHF - Dominique de Wenden from France Galop
They wil al take a concrete part in our new decentralized organization and Dominique de Wenden and Andrew Harding wil coordinate their work.
Thank you to al for your great support and thank you in advance for helping us to achieve our goals.
3- Reports of IFHA Committees
the new Vice-Chairman of ISBC told us that there is now 69
Approved Stud Books with the Oman Stud Book having been approved
and they should be very soon 70 as the Ukrainian Stud Book approval
process is in the very final stages.
A new internet site and system to provide the best possible facilities for ISBC members and to manage the tasks of informing and educating emerging Stud Books was presented and approved. It wil undertake the parentage verification, recording and issue of identification documents for every Thoroughbred.
The subject of Genetic Manipulations and the new version of Article 6 were discussed and it was also agreed to add a suitable wording to Article 12 prohibiting the manipulation of the heritable genome.
gave us a report of IRPAC meeting.
The main subject was the integration of South American ratings with World Thoroughbred Rankings which wil be achieved for the first time at
the end of the year and wil be used for the quality control of their Graded races.
OSAF wil now implement additional ground rules for awarding Group status in South America.
New Ground Rules have been established by the Asian Pattern Committee concerning rating standards and changes for Group races.
The Istanbul Trophy in Turkey was upgraded to Part I, with Group 3 status.
Six races from Spain were promoted to Part II subject to review of their 2012 ratings.
The top 50 races in the world ranked by race ratings wil be published on the IFHA website early next year.
Andrew Harding and Henri Pouret
co-chaired TAC meeting who
reviewed many technical issues.
Articles within the International Agreement have been grouped under subject headings Breeding, Racing and Wagering for ease of reference.
Six proposed amendments to the International Agreement wil be presented to the Executive Council tomorrow.
A proposed definition and set of criteria for Recognised Racing Authorities was approved for recommendation to ExCo.
3.4. Committee for Harmonisation of Raceday Rules
Rob de Kock
reported that the JRA, after a very long consultation within
the racing industry in Japan, has decided to change its interference rule
to the Category 1 rule with effect from 1st January 2013. It wil put them
in line with other ARF countries.
I would also like to add that they wil then be closer to the French rule as the winner of the 2010 Japan Cup would never have lost the race in France.
However, there is stil a need to progress harmonization within Europe and with the American continent.
It should be one of our priorities as simulcasting and commingling of pools are growing around the world.
In other areas, harmonization has been achieved for position of N° 1 stal , non runner rule, head gear and tongue ties.
3.5. International Conference for Health, Safety and Welfare of Jockeys
chaired that Conference which was organized for the first
time in the USA.
There were 50 participants from 11 countries, the biggest ever attendance since its creation in 2006.
Al countries are trying to improve their standards, but the lack of structure and the lack of finance make it very difficult for some countries to achieve the best international standards.
3.6. International Agreement and Medication issues
A revised version of Article 6 on Biological Integrity of the Horse has
been presented to you which concerns ethic considerations,
prohibited substances and practices, and the risk of genetic and
cel ular manipulations.
It wil be presented to the Executive Council tomorrow morning and
we intend to implement it next year.
Dr Houghton has also been updating us on the 22 International
Screening Limits published on IFHA website and the 18 Detection
Times published on EHSLC website.
It is certainly the most significant progress ever made to al ow
practicing vets to apply good veterinary practice in the treatment of
horses with therapeutic substances and to harmonize
international y antidoping control.
Dr Houghton final y reported on the successful International
Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians held with great success at Philadelphia in September and made an announcement on the next one in Mauritius in September 2014 for which ICRAV is looking for financial partners.
B- OPEN FORUM
1- Progress Report about developing countries
gave us a report on the very positive actions initiated by
Paull Khan has been appointed as Secretary General by courtesy of
I have known Paull for at least 20 years and I am convinced he is the best possible choice and wil be a great help for both EMHF and IFHA.
In April, a two day training seminar for racecourse officials, hosted by the BHA, was carried out in Newmarket and new seminars are planned for the coming years.
Several questionnaires have been done about racing rules.
EMHF has established links with the European Association of Racing Schools.
Mr Philippe Casier, the President of the Belgium Jockey Club wil be in charge of issues concerning relations with the European Commission.
So my warmest congratulations to Brian and Björn for these very concrete results and good luck to Paull Khan.
YU Pang Fey
has been appointed by ARF as the new Chairman of the
Special Body for developing racing jurisdictions.
ARF has created a new membership category for developing countries which can become “Affiliated Member”.
ARF has retained Ciaran Kennel y to help prepare emerging countries and their major races for potential promotion to the Blue Book like Qatar in 2011.
Mongolia has been granted Associate Membership.
Future developments wil include mentoring, technical support programs and staff development scholarships.
2- Update on Medication Matters in USA
The title of Jim Gagliano’s excellent presentation was speaking by itself “On the road to medication reform”.
Jim firstly told us that their Fan Development programs which he presented last year are giving very encouraging results, but he very wisely added that al marketing initiatives can be destroyed if you cannot guarantee a clean game and a level playing field.
He then explained us al the work involved in the establishment of “Reformed Racing Medication Rules”.
He commented on the proposed changes to make the penalty structure for drug violations much harder.
We are welcoming the great news that at the Breeders’ Cup next month, furosemide wil be prohibited for al 2 year-old races and that 70 members of TOBA have pledged to run their 2 year-olds in 2012 without Lasix.
The Jockey Club core belief that “Horses should compete only when they are free from the influence of medication” sounds like very nice music to my ears.
Jim, I am sure that everybody in that room today is wishing you good luck to win this strategic battle.
3- Presentation of Country and Region
3.1.- Czech Republic
We saw a very nice video on racing in the Czech Republic which shows the result of the struggle in last decades to restore it to the level where it was in the past.
After difficult times with communist rulers, horseracing became one of the country life activities helping to keep young people in agriculture.
Then between 1989 and 1992 the Jockey Club of Czechoslovakia was restored and we saw in the video how successfully it was done with some very famous races like the Grand Steeple Chase of Pardubice.
Mr Luka and Mr Vicenik, we wish you good luck for the future.
3.2.- South America
South America is a marvelous racing and breeding continent with top class racecourses and excel ent breeding farms.
As Ignacio Pavlovsky
showed us, OSAF countries represent :
- 14.25 % of the races run in the world - 12.52 % of the runners - 4.74 % of the prize money with low cost for training and breeding
Unfortunately, it represents less than 1% of the total betting in the world which means that there is potential for growth but that the task wil not be easy.
As you could see it OSAF is very wel organized and has recently put in place a new structure under the Chairmanship of Marcel Zarour.
OSAF has done a considerable work to integrate the World Rankings and must now implement quality control in al Group races in South America.
It is not political y easy, but it is an absolute priority for al Part 1 countries around the world including Asia.
I had personal y the chance to make trips to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay and I can tel you that you wil meet very nice people with a great passion for racing and breeding and I strongly recommend you to visit them.
4- Racing and Betting Business Forum
The Racing and Betting Forum organized on Friday in partnership between IFHA, EPMA and PMU was a great success as Aki told you.
It was a full day event with 150 participants from 26 countries
o Innovations of the racing product to fit market expectations o Emerging markets and new partners o The importance of branding in sport and entertainment o A Tote panel on innovations o Innovation in international transmission technologies o Commingling of pools
In his conclusion, Philippe Germond warned us that we need to utilize innovative IT technologies to reach a younger audience, otherwise our betting turnover would decrease every year and create a vivious cycle.
Next year, Jim Gagliano wil take over the responsibility of organizing this forum with EPMA and the PMU.
5- Review of current economic trends in breeding and racing (2011/2012)
Aki presented to us his annual statistical survey fol owed by his usual economical and philosophical approach.
He clearly showed us the worldwide decline of the number of foals for the third year in a row and the consequences of the Euro crisis.
General y speaking, Asian countries have been increasing their shares in al racing sectors.
Then Aki talked about a new world “Post-Market Capitalism” and showed us a couple of ways of how we could adapt ourselves to this changing environment :
It is certainly a major issue as it concerns quality control of racing, a no-medication world, a review of the number and quality of races, revenue based on net income of betting instead of global turnover and a policy of not expecting too much and maintaining your territory
Aki gave concrete examples of the “Thoroughbred Aftercare
Al iance for retired horses” in USA, the charities and community “of the Hong Kong Jockey Club” and the importance of the surrounding natural environments of the new grandstand at Longchamp racecourse which we hope to present you at the Conference next year.
The final message of Aki was that we are like goal keepers as our mission is to safeguard the industry at al cost on the last line.
Thank you Aki for this very innovative presentation and good luck for the future.
“ADAPTING TO CHANGING ENVIRONMENT”
A- CURRENT CHALLENGES AND MEASURES IN RACING INDUSTRY
Brian Kavanagh moderated this panel
1. Keynote speaker :
the new Chairman of France Galop gave us a global
He told us that :
- The key factor of the independence for racing is the control of
- Relations with political authorities are an absolute priority and
we must integrate our racecourses in the life of the city
- We must make racing known as much as possible in the medias
and make efforts to attract the younger generations and
women on our racecourses, television and internet being the most important vectors
- We must encourage access to shared ownership in order to
Bertrand Belinguier also spoke about the importance of having a strong worldwide organization and reaffirmed, the firm commitment of France Galop to IFHA.
He emphasized the force of the International Agreement, the importance of the integrity and welfare of the horse, the necessity of a fair return of revenues to the industry and the facilitation of commingling agreements.
He concluded by asking racing authorities to cooperate and avoid taking single decisions on issues of common interest without a preliminary consultation in order to look for common best practice.
Thank you Bertrand, for this very interesting speech and your great support.
gave us an overview of the size and breadth of the
Australian racing and breeding industry which clearly showed that it is
one of the largest and most successful in the world.
He reminded us of the importance of the decision of the High Court of Australia who upheld the validity of the Racing New South Wales legislation based on the use of thoroughbred racefields with the approval of the relevant control ing body and the payment of an appropriate product fee.
Michael detailed also the success of their strategy of internationalization led by the Victoria Racing Club.
“The Race that stops the Nation”, the Melbourne Cup, is now total y international and you have certainly noticed that the last two winners were trained in France.
But this international policy has not been a one way traffic with the victories of Black Caviar and So You Think in Europe.
“The internationalization of racing has brought many benefits to Australian racing and breeding including raising our profile on the world stage and importantly, building productive relationships with racing authorities and participants across the globe”.
When I started working at the Société d’Encouragement in 1968, Italy had a very wealthy racing and breeding industry.
It was having the best average prizemoney in Europe and had produced horses like Ribot and Molvedo.
Unfortunately, Italy has become the historical example and a case study of how Governments can destroy step by step a successful betting and racing organization.
Francesco Ruffo Scaletta explained us how it happened and what he is expecting to improve the situation and to reposition horseracing in the new gambling and betting market.
“Any gaming product depends on striking a balance between customer satisfaction and the economic interest of the sel er”.
B- CURRENT CHALLENGES AND MEASURES IN OTHER INDUSTRIES
Winfried Engelbrecht Bresges moderated this second panel.
He insisted on the new very competitive digital world with wel equipped customers who select and subscribe only to offerings that best meet their needs.
1. Sports Betting Industry
presented us his vision of how embracing change to grow.
He explained to us how the UK betting industry became ten times more profitable within a decade.
At the same time, the consumer-base has been re-invigorated by the development of the sports betting market with younger and more affluent customers.
Technology has been very clearly assisting the growth of the sports betting market.
Chris also told us that regulation and legislation play a vital part in maintaining a crucial balance as a free for al unfair taxation, levies and criminality could spel an ultimate disaster.
2. How to safeguard fair share (Intellectual Property Rights)
presented us a very detailed analysis of the chal enges
we are facing in courts to protect Intel ectual Property Rights.
He gave us example of court decisions in England, at the European Court of Justice or in Australia.
He developed the possibility of using Race Fields legislation as an alternative to copyright or sui generis database right.
Andrew concluded by suggesting to fol ow four steps :
- To identify interested IFHA members - To scope the issues in each country - To develop one or more model rules
- To use IFHA to advocate the adoption of these models by
It is very ambitious but it is a vital issue for our future and it wil be a big chal enge for our Vice Chairman, in charge of this mission.
Here are my principal conclusions and I would like now to thank especial y :
- France Galop for its marvelous hospitality at a memorable
dinner at the Opera Garnier on Saturday and at its headquarters today,
- Al the speakers and moderators who gave us their time to
prepare such interesting presentations (a memory stick is
available for each of you), This year, I am pleased to inform you that the video of the Open
Forum presentations and panels from this 46th annual
International Conference of Horseracing Authorities wil be
available on the IFHA website, IFHAONLINE.ORG.
This wil strengthen our communication to make known the
goals, actions, and commitment of the International
Horseracing Authorities to good regulation and best practices
on international matters.
- My three Vice Chairmen and the Chairmen of al Committees, - Al ExCo members, - Dominique de Wenden, Aki Akitani, Andrew Chesser and
Martine Gaudron who organized today’s Conference,
- Al the technical teams of France Galop and Saturne Production - Last but not least al the interpreters !
Thank you for your attention and have a good trip back home.
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