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Seven youngsters earn IFAHR scholarships

Annual board meeting in Abu Dhabi attracts all members

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) has approved seven names to receive the Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF), during the year 2018.

The Fund, part of the IFHRA Mentorship Programme, is aimed to groom young professionals for futures in the equestrian fraternity.

The list was finalised at an IFHRA board meeting on Friday.

The selected students include Stephen Brown from Australia, Niamh Cassidy from Ireland, Jamie Gormley from British Racing school and Thomas Ryall from Northern Racing College, both from the UK, Kit Choon Khaw from Malaysia, Austin Motley from the USA and Nil Torries Reyes from Peru.

The meeting was attended by several member countries including Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Morocco, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Uruguay, US and UK, apart from the UAE,

The IFHRA currently enjoys a membership of 56 countries.

The meeting which began with opening remarks by Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the Shaikh Mansoor Festival, who hailed the success of the programmer during 2017, which had a group of 15 students travelling all over the world.

”We are very happy with the success of the 2017 programme,” she said. “In order to make the programme more professional, we decided to reduce the number of students to 10 this year, out of which seven have been finalised.”

Discussion on minimum and maximum age of the candidates came under the scanner for a while with some member-countries requesting that worthy candidates should be accommodated in the programme citing various reasons.

However Sawaya asserted that the rule cannot be changed under IFHRA guidelines.

“The success of our 2017 meeting strengthens our belief that we have to work harder and be more committed in the coming years,” she said. “I am very happy to state that several beneficiaries of the RSF programme are doing well in different countries having taken advantage of the training they obtained during their stint at the programme.”

IFHRA acts under the umbrella of the HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, which has entered the tenth year in 2018.

Sawaya also requested the IFHRA member-countries to submit nominees for the Female Apprentice Jockey Darley Award based on the performance of the 2017 season before February 26, 2018.

The award will be presented at Kodak Studio, Hollywood in April first week.

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