Tuesday, September 19, 2023Contact: Andrew Chesser
International Conference for the Health, Safety and Welfare of Jockeys Returns

Following a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Conference for the Health, Safety and Welfare of Jockeys (ICHSWJ) returns this year and will be held on Thursday, 28 September at Auteuil Racecourse in Paris. It will take place in conjunction with the 57th International Conference of Horseracing Authorities and other associated meetings around the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend. The ICHSWJ is one of the sub-committees of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

“The IFHA and the ICHSWJ Steering Group are looking forward to the return of this important conference,” said ICHSWJ Chairman Darragh O’Loughlin, who will give the opening remarks. “Improving jockey health, safety, and welfare is vital for our sport. Themes we will explore at this year’s conference include concussions, spinal injuries, and mental health. Following each presentation, we will also have a question-and-answer session as we all strive to expand our understanding of these topics.”

The first presentation will feature a review of the recent Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport and what it means for horseracing. Dr. Jerry Hill, Chief Medical Adviser, British Horseracing Authority (BHA), and Dr. Jennifer Pugh, Chief Medical Officer, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), will lead the discussion on how the sport can provide consistency in concussion management across racing jurisdictions to deliver the best outcomes for jockeys amid increasing resource challenges and international movement of riders.

The next session will focus on the analysis and prevention of spinal injuries to jockeys. Daloni Lucas, PhD Candidate at the Centre for Health, and Injury & Illness Prevention in Sport (CHi2PS), University of Bath, will discuss the latest research in this area, in particular spinal injuries and the role body protectors play.

The third session will examine the importance of mental health and the psychological fitness of riders. This presentation will include looking at different mental health perspectives and how cultural risk factors can contribute to the development of mental health symptoms. Participants on this panel include Professor Duncan Law, Consultant Clinical Psychologists, Changing Minds UK; Karen Lo, Sports Psychologist, Inner Edge, Hong Kong; and Dr. Ciara Losty, Sports Psychologist, Irish Jockey Pathway.

Following these three panel discussions, recently retired third-generation jockey Tom Scudamore, who is a member of the Steering Committee, will provide his reflections on the content and on the work of the ICHSWJ.

For those interested in attending the ICHSWJ in person, priority will be given to delegates who are members of the IFHA. Individuals outside of the IFHA's membership are encouraged to submit their request as soon as possible as space is extremely limited.

A free live video stream of the ICHSWJ conference will be available HERE, and those attending remotely are strongly encouraged to register in advance through the link provided. The conference will begin at approximately 9:00 CEST (GMT+1).

About IFHA

The IFHA is the global leader for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing, seeking to promote all facets of the worldwide sport; protect the welfare of the equine and human athlete; and protect and grow its global social and economic significance for current and future generations.

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 (WOAH).

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