FEI President Princess Haya has been appointed president of the newly formed International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC).
The IHSC was established late last year between the FEI and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). It is the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading governing bodies for equestrian sport.
Princess Haya’s appointment was made at the first meeting of the IHSC last weekend, and IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet has been appointed Vice-President. The IHSC Secretariat will be managed by the FEI’s CEO and Secretary General Ingmar De Vos and IFHA Special Counsellor Andrew Harding, and will be based at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the HM King Hussein I Building.
Among the hot topics under discussion at the meeting was the recent allegations of abuse and mistreatment of racehorses in New York, raised by PETA.
The IHSC urged the US authorities which are investigating these allegations to leave no stone unturned. It also called on PETA to 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.
At the meeting in Switzerland, the FEI and the IFHA confirmed that they share the same core values of protecting horse welfare and discussed the different models under which both bodies operate.
The two organisations came to the conclusion that there are many commonalities and opportunities for further co-operation. Although there are operational differences due to regulatory requirements, both organisations are united by the horse and a shared philosophy built on common values.
Working groups have been established to deal with issues including:
- The continued commitment to fight against doping and any abuse of horses;
- The co-operation 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.
Also attending the meeting were, FEI 1st vice-president John McEwen; 2nd vice-president Pablo Mayorga; and FEI Veterinary Department director Graeme Cooke. The IFHA was represented by vice-chairman Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Technical Advisor Dr Roland Devolz; Deputy Secretary General Andrew Chesser; IFHA Regional Technical Adviser (Asia), Secretary General of the Asian Racing Federation, and Director of Racing Development HKJC Andrew Harding; and Dr Anthony Kettle, Secretary of the IFHA’s International Movement of Horses Subcommittee (IMHC), the IFHA OIE’s (World Organisation for Animal Health) liaison, and head of Veterinary Department at Dubai Racing Club.