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.
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 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”)
Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
Harmonisation of Race Day Rules
Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally