International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses to hold first conference

By: The Jockey Club News Service

Posted: March 31, 2017

The International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses will hold its first conference in Washington, D.C., May 17-18 to coincide with the Pan American Conference.

Speakers will represent many aspects of Thoroughbred aftercare and welfare, from promoting and retraining to connecting aftercare to bettors and developing non-racing agreements for owners.

Representatives from prominent groups such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners (Dr. Kathleen Anderson), Au-delà des Pistes in France (Lisa-Jane Graffard), International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, Japanese Racing Association (Takahiro Nishio), Racing Queensland (Dr. Eliot Forbes), Racing Victoria (Raelene Harrison), Retired Racehorse Project (Steuart Pittman), Retraining of Racehorses in the United Kingdom (Di Arbuthnot), The Humane Society of the United States (Wayne Pacelle), The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (Kristin Leshney), and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (Stacie Clark Rogers) will provide their perspective insights on Thoroughbred aftercare.

“This aftercare conference provides horse racing representatives from around the world with the opportunity to discuss the aftercare of our Thoroughbred racehorses,” said James Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the major racing nations, we hope to include racing and aftercare representatives from smaller countries and emerging racing nations who share our mission to provide proper care of Thoroughbreds during their lifetimes.”

Boyd Martin, a three-day event rider, is the keynote speaker May 17. He has finished in the top 10 at every four-star event in the world except Badminton (England). Originally from Australia, Martin moved to the United States in 2007. One of his best-known horses is Blackfoot Mystery, an off-track Thoroughbred.

The May 18 keynote address will be given by Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends and former film critic of the Boston Globe. Old Friends is a Thoroughbred retirement facility consisting of two farms, one in Kentucky and one in New York, that provide homes for pensioned stallions and other Thoroughbreds whose careers in racing and breeding have come to an end.

IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care, and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports.

Attendance at the IFAR conference, which is hosted by The Jockey Club and supported by Godolphin, is open to all racing jurisdictions, aftercare organizations and other interested parties. IFAR has also announced the launch of its website, where more information is available.