A “new generation of leaders” for world horse racing body

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Louis Romanet, pictured in 2015.
Louis Romanet, pictured in 2015 at the 49th Conference of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris.

Louis Romanet, the long-time chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) will not seek a further term and will finish with the organisation in October. Romanet has been chairman since the IFHA’s inception in 1994.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has been elected by the Federation’s Executive Council for a three-year term, and the Paris-based organisation will also now be supported by a global management team which will be announced in October.

Four new vice-chairs have also been elected: US Jockey Club president Jim Gagliano (Americas); former Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive and incoming Chief Executive of The Curragh Racecourse Brian Kavanagh (Europe); Japan Racing Association President Masayuki Goto (Asia); and Horacio Esposito, Advisor in International Affairs for Organización Sudamericana de Fomento del Pura Sangre de Carrera (OSAF).

Romanet said it was time for him to step down in favor of new generations of leaders. “It has been an honour, a privilege, and a pleasure to serve as the IFHA’s Chairman since its beginning in March 1994,” he said.

“After 27 years in the chair, I am proud of the development of our great sport and its growth all over the world. 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.

Engelbrecht-Bresges said he was honoured to be appointed as Romanet’s successor and the second Chair of the IFHA.

“There is nobody who can replicate the remarkable and sustained contribution to the IFHA which Louis has achieved. Louis has dedicated his working life to the advancement of racing,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges

“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.”

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. He was also a member of the board of the equestrian events in Hong Kong for the 2008 Olympic Games.

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