Racing leader takes over top horse sport role

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Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges is the new president of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC).
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has taken over from FEI President Ingmar De Vos as president of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC), after a unanimous vote at the organisation’s General Assembly on April 22.

Engelbrecht-Bresges is the third president of the IHSC, following IFHA Chairman Emeritus Louis Romanet (2017 to 2019) and De Vos (2019 to 2022), who takes over as IHSC Vice-President.

Engelbrecht-Bresges, who previously served as the standing representative of the IFHA in the IHSC General Assembly, is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), a position he has held since 2007.

He also serves as the Chair of the IFHA, the global leader for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing, and the Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), which comprises 27 national racing authorities and racing-related organisations from across Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East.

Following his election, he said he was grateful to be elected to the role and paid tribute to De Vos, whose leadership he said had been “significantly important and impactful for global horse sport”.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Louis Romanet. His vision for both the IFHA and the IHSC has laid the groundwork for these organizations to work in harmony for our shared missions,” he said.

“The relationship between the FEI and the IFHA has indeed been strengthened during the pandemic, and I look forward to leading the IHSC as President, and advancing our shared ideals and activities, specifically our partnership with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).”

The meeting was held online again this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

De Vos said he was pleased to pass the Presidential baton to Engelbrecht-Bresges.

“Effective coordination between the racing and equestrian communities has been extremely beneficial since the formation of the IHSC and is vital to ensure the sustainable development of equestrian sport. I know that we will continue to build on our partnership and all the excellent work that has already been done to date and I look forward to now supporting Winfried in the IHSC’s next chapter.”

The IHSC was created in 2013, when the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) joined forces to create the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading bodies for equestrian sport. The Presidency of the IHSC rotates between the founding members.

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