Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges

Racing's Sustainability, TV Coverage Among Topics of IFHA Conference

The International Conference of Horseracing Authorities was held virtually in 2021 for the second consecutive year owing to challenges presented by the global pandemic, and speakers during the 55th edition of the conference-organized by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities--examined racing's global evolution and future challenges. The conference in its entirety can be accessed via the video link above or as a podcast. Allen Hershkowitz, environmental science advisor to the New York Yankees and founding director and chairman of Sports and Sustainability International, spoke about the threats presented by climate...

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Saudi Cup Promoted to Group 1 Status

Saudi Arabia's $20-million Saudi Cup has been awarded Group 1 status beginning in 2022 it was announced during Monday's virtual meeting of the Executive Council of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). The move follows the promotion of both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain from Part III to Part II of the ICS Book by the International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee (IRPAC). In addition, the Neom Turf Cup, Saudi Derby, STC 1,351 Turf Sprint, Riyadh Dirt Sprint and Red Sea Turf, as well as Bahrain's Bahrain International Trophy...

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Virtual IFHA Conference Looks to Future of Racing

The 2021 International Conference of Horseracing Authorities, organised by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), will be held virtually for the second year in a row on Oct. 4. This year's focus will be on global racing's evolution and future challenges, with the conference digitally released on Oct. 7. New IFHA Chair Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges will give the keynote speech, as well as several panel discussions. Some of the topics to be covered in this year's conference include: digitalisation and media; equine welfare; and climate change and sustainability. Rishi Persad...

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Romanet Retires As IFHA Chairman; To Be Succeeded by Engelbrecht-Bresges

Louis Romanet will retire as chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in October, and will be succeeded by Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who was elected by the IFHA's executive council. Romanet has served as chairman of the IFHA since its inception in 1994 in Paris. Going forward, the IFHA will be supported by a global management team that will be announced in October. The IFHA executive council also elected four Vice Chairs: Jockey Club President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Gagliano and outgoing Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh...

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Record-Breaking Season Concludes in Hong Kong

The 2020/2021 racing season in Hong Kong concluded July 14, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club reporting turnover in excess of HK$130 billion (£12.1b/€14.2b/US$16.7b) for the first time. A total of 88 meetings--one more than last season--were conducted between September and July, with no programs lost to the coronavirus. The HKJC staged 835 races at Sha Tin and Happy Valley Racecourses, and took 206 races from overseas for simulcasting purposes. Total turnover was HK$136 billion, representing a 12.1% increase over last season. The HKJC is the single largest taxpayer in...

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HKJC World First Aims To Enhance Global Participation

In two frustrating and financially damaging racing seasons for Ascot, there has at least been a glimmer of light gleaned from its decision in 2019 to become involved with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and the UK Tote in launching the World Pool. In that debut year, £92 million was bet into the World Pool on racing at Royal Ascot. Amid an unthinkably torrid 2020 season, in which the Royal meeting was staged behind closed doors, that figure rose to £137 million. It improved again this year: four of...

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Agreement To Allow HKJC To Host Racing at Conghua

An agreement executed Friday by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) with the Guangzhou Municipal Government is set to strengthen the Club's foothold on the Chinese Mainland, with the prospect of staging "international-standard' racing at Conghua Racecourse (CRC), heretofore known as the Conghua Training Centre (CTC). Located about 200 kilometres and approximately a three-hour car trip (four hours by horse float) from Hong Kong, Conghua was opened to great fanfare in 2018. Built on 150 hectares on a site that hosted the equestrian events at the 2010 Asian Games, the...

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HKJC to Offer World Pool Betting For DWC Meeting

World Pool betting will be available for the Dubai World Cup meeting on Mar. 27, the Hong Kong Jockey Club announced on Tuesday. The 2019 Royal Ascot meeting was the first time World Pool betting was available from the HKJC and resulted in a 60% increase in turnover. During the Mar. 6 Super Saturday card in Dubai, local turnover increased 28.5% and commingled turnover rose 38.7% with World Pool wagering available. Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Chief Executive Officer, said, "The commingling development in Hong Kong has...

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Hong Kong Racing Weathers the Storm

The 2019-2020 racing calendar in Hong Kong was widely referred to as a "season like no other," and with good reason. Racing was threatened first by significant social unrest in and around Hong Kong, on one occasion, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, no more than a few kilometres from the stables at Sha Tin Racecourse. Having canceled just one meeting due to the protests, the local racing product was later confronted by COVID-19, a pandemic that shut down operations--at least for a time--at the vast majority of worldwide...

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Korea Racing Suspended At Least Additional Two Weeks

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country, all horse racing operations in South Korea will be suspended at least through Mar. 22. Alastair Middleton, an English racecaller for the Korean Racing Authority, reported the news in a tweet Wednesday. On Wednesday, Feb. 26, officials at the KRA announced that racing would cease in the country beginning Friday, Feb. 28 before the situation was reevaluated Mar. 9. A total of 12 meetings (including pony races) at the three KRA-owned facilities were to be canceled. An additional six...

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Coronavirus Continues to Wreak Havoc, But The Show Goes on In HK

Racing continues Saturday with a 10-race program at Sha Tin, even as the coronavirus outbreak that has its origins in Mainland China is causing some major contingency planning by officials at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Over the last few weeks, attendance at live meetings at Sha Tin in the New Territories to the north and at Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island to the south has been restricted to those with pre-existing reservations, with public areas closed. The Chinese New Year racecard at Sha Tin, which normally attracts...

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