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News IFAR’s Virtual Conference reaches far and wide

29th April 2021

The International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) held its fifth conference, as a series of four virtual sessions throughout April. By hosting this year’s conference virtually, IFAR was able to include participation from a greater range of aftercare advocates, experts, and regulators from around the world.

The first session kicked off with “Aftercare – Racing’s Responsibility” and attracted over 200 attendees from more than 20 counties. Moderated by international racing broadcaster Nick Luck, it featured panellists including Yogi Breisner MBE and Jessica Harrington. Throughout the webinar the overall theme expressed was the importance of education, both in terms of the versatility of the thoroughbred in careers beyond the racetrack and educating owners on the need to consider second careers for racehorses if they are not or are no longer competitive.

The second session, “Aftercare for Racing Administrators and Regulators” hosted by Caroline Searcy, highlighted the importance of traceability and the measures that various organisations use or have developed to keep track of racehorses throughout their lives.

Post-Racing opportunities were discussed during the third webinar, “Global Insights on Aftercare (Aftercare Providers, Equine Charities),” moderated by Donna Brothers who was joined by Stacie Clark, operations consultant, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (U.S.), John Osborne, Director of Equine Welfare and Bloodstock, Horse Racing Ireland and Argentine vet Dr. Ignacio Pavlovsky.

The final session of the IFAR Conference titled "Aftercare for Racing Industry Participants: Owners, Breeders, and Trainers" combined optimism for the wider racing industry with a focus on equine welfare. Francesca Cumani expertly led the discussion in which Dr. Eliot Forbes from the IFAR Steering Committee spoke on the aftercare toolkit developed by IFAR, including supply and demand based strategies for promoting thoroughbreds beyond the racetrack.

To close the conference Di Arbuthnot, IFAR Chair said: “We are delighted by the global reception to this year’s IFAR Conference. All our speakers and moderators offered valuable insights to share with our audience, and we are thankful for their participation and commitment to aftercare.

“The wide range of viewers who tuned into each of IFAR’s sessions indicates the interest from the Thoroughbred industry in prioritizing aftercare on a global scale, and the IFAR team is here to assist jurisdictions who wish to develop or enhance their programs.”

Recordings of all four sessions of the 2021 IFAR Conference can be viewed at internationalracehorseaftercare.com/help-resources/conference-resources/ifar-conference-2021/.

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