Conferences - 57th International Conference Agenda


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10.30 am

Opening by IFHA Chair   

IFHA Chair Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges will welcome members, key stakeholders, and media, and begin to spotlight the work undertaken by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) over the past 12 months and what lies ahead.


Master of Ceremonies  

Nick Luck, a renowned broadcaster for UK's Racing TV, known as the host of the "Luck on Sunday" Sunday morning racing show, the daily podcast "Nick Luck Daily," and a prominent figure in NBC's international and Breeders' Cup coverage in the U.S., has been invited to serve as the master of ceremonies and moderator for the conference.

10.45 am

Session 1: Racing in an Evolving Society  

  • Natalie Waran, Chair of the Equine Ethics and Well-Being Commission, International Federation for Equestrian Sports; Director for ‘A Good Life for Animals’ Centre, Companion Animals New Zealand

  • Julie Harrington, Chief Executive, British Horseracing Authority

  • Najja Thompson, Executive Director, New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Inc.

  • Lisa-Jane Graffard,General Secretary, Au-Delà des Pistes

This session will begin with an opening keynote by Natalie Waran, Chair of the Equine Ethics and Well-Being Commission of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, which will set a strong foundation for the Business Programme. Natalie will highlight key strategies for driving greater understanding of equine sport, through examining the evolving social expectations towards equine welfare, key equine welfare issues and major barriers to behavioural change in industry stakeholders.

Following the keynote, a panel will bring together senior racing administrators to share their approaches and strategies to shape the narratives surrounding equine welfare and racing. Additionally, we invite leaders from other sports to share their perspectives and insights on how racing and other sports can better address concerns and misrepresentations.

12.15 pm

Session 2: Update from the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) 

  • Charles Scheeler, Chair, HISA
The session will open with an update on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) from Chair of HISA Board, including its implementation of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program and future developments. Key topics that may be discussed include HISA’s response to the spate of racetrack deaths at Churchill Downs, as well as HISA's experience with the total ban of bisphosphonates in horse racing.

12.35 pm


1.30 pm

Promotion of 40th Asian Racing Conference

  • Hiroshi Ito, Counselor, Japan Racing Association

This session will be a short presentation from the host of the 40th ARC, the Japan Racing Association, which will provide an overview of the conference and an invitation for IFHA members and stakeholders to participate. 

1.40 pm

Session 3: Protecting our Equine Athletes

  • Brian Stewart, Head of Veterinary Clinical Services, The Hong Kong Jockey Club

  • Josh Rubinstein, President, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

  • James Given, Director of Equine Regulation, Safety and Welfare, British Horseracing Authority

  • Sonia Wittreck, Stud Book & Doping Control, Head of Department, France Galop

This session will bring together leaders from racing administration and veterinary science to share their perspectives and insights on this critical topic. It will also comprise a panel discussion that will explore new and innovative approaches, as well as look ahead to the future on ways to further minimise the occurrence of breakdowns and deaths on track. 

2.40 pm


3.00 pm

Session 4: Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement

  • Nevin Truesdale, CEO, UK Jockey Club

  • Robert Green, Principal, Pierrepont Consulting and Analytics LLC

This session will begin with a presentation on how the racing industry can harness data-driven insights to formulate proactive policies. This is followed by a dive into real-world examples showcasing how leaders within racing bodies adeptly manage criticism and engage with stakeholders, government, and the public, employing effective resolution and communication strategies.   

4:15 pm

Closing by IFHA Chair

The conference will conclude with a short speech thanking speakers, members and other stakeholders for their participation in the Conference. It will also outline the key themes explored in this Conference, and look ahead at staying connected until the next conference.