Romanet To Retire As IFHA Chairman; Engelbrecht-Bresges Elected New Chairman


The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) announced today that its long-standing Chairman, Mr Louis Romanet, has decided not to seek a further term and will conclude his tenure as Chairman in October. Romanet has served the IFHA with distinction since the organisation’s inception.

The Federation’s Executive Council has appointed a new leadership team to commence a three-year term starting in October, and Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has been elected to serve as the second Chairman in the IFHA’s history. Founded in 1994 and based in Paris since its establishment, the organisation will henceforth be supported by a global management team which will be announced in October.

“It has been an honour, a privilege, and a pleasure to serve as the IFHA’s Chairman since its beginning in March 1994,” said Romanet. “After 27 years in the chair, I am proud of the development of our great sport and its growth all over the world. It is time for me to step down in favor of new generations of leaders, and I am confident that our next Chair and Vice-Chairs, working alongside the Federation’s Executive Council, will successfully progress the IFHA and international horse racing. I would like to warmly congratulate Winfried on his appointment to the role of IFHA Chairman. I am certain that he will bring the vision, energy and outstanding leadership qualities necessary to take racing’s global body to the next level into the future.”

In recognition of his invaluable contribution to the IFHA, Romanet has been appointed to the honorary position of Chairman Emeritus of the Federation by the Executive Council, a position he will assume in October.

“There is nobody who can replicate the remarkable and sustained contribution to the IFHA which Louis has achieved,” said Engelbrecht-Bresges. “Louis has dedicated his working life to the advancement of racing. He has been a champion for the internationalization of racing and has worked over many years to set and promote the conditions necessary to support international competition. He has also had an unwavering commitment to prohibited substance-free racing, particularly through major reforms to Article 6 of the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering.

“Louis was instrumental in initiating recent enhancements to the governance of the IFHA. In doing so, he has overseen the establishment of a more globally-integrated, modern organisation which will draw on the wealth of expertise, talent and experience from our membership, and yet remain anchored in Paris as the spiritual home of the IFHA. This has set a strong platform for the IFHA and our members to meet the challenges of a globalized, dramatically changing world. I am truly honoured to be appointed as Louis’ successor and the second Chair of the IFHA.”

Engelbrecht-Bresges has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) since 2007, and has also served as the IFHA’s Vice Chairman for Asia. Additionally, Engelbrecht-Bresges also serves as the Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), the regional body representing 29 national racing authorities and racing-related organisations from across Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East.

In addition, four Vice-Chairs were elected:

• Jim Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The United States Jockey Club was re-elected as Vice Chair for the Americas.
• Brian Kavanagh, outgoing Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, and incoming Chief Executive of The Curragh Racecourse, was re-elected as Vice-Chair for Europe.
• Masayuki Goto, President and CEO of the Japan Racing Association, was elected as the new Vice-Chair for Asia.
• Horacio Esposito, Advisor in International Affairs for Organización Sudamericana de Fomento del Pura Sangre de Carrera (OSAF), was elected as the Federation’s new fourth Vice-Chair.  

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