The seventh International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) will be held in conjunction with the 39th Asian Racing Conference (ARC), which is scheduled to take place 14-19 February 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. Both events are being hosted by the Asian Racing Federation (ARF) and the host of the 39th ARC, Racing Victoria.
IFAR will facilitate an aftercare facility visit as well as host a variety of panels with speakers from around the world. The sessions will include such topics as new models for industry cooperation; training for success on and off the track; practical tools to screen for temperament and the importance of transition training; and realising athletic potential. The IFAR conference will also be receiving assistance from the Japan Racing Association (JRA), which has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement to support the activities of the organization.
Di Arbuthnot, chair of the IFAR Steering Group, said, “For the past two years, our conference was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am looking forward to being able meet again in person as we all work together to share success stories and best practices when it comes to equine welfare. The question of what happens to racehorses after they leave the track is a global one, and the importance of IFAR only continues to grow.”
Andrew Harding, secretary general of the ARF, said, “ARF is pleased to once again include the IFAR Conference as part of the ARC. This will be the third time we have hosted IFAR during our event’s programme, and the past has shown how valuable this connection is. The safety and welfare of our equine athletes is paramount both during and after their careers, and IFAR enables us all to learn about ways to improve our aftercare efforts on an international scale.”
Carly Dixon, executive director of the 39th Asian Racing Conference at Racing Victoria, said, “As host of next year’s ARC, we look forward to leading the discussion on how the global racing community can continue to learn and improve our approach to the welfare of horses after racing. We will also take this opportunity to showcase our own world leading equine welfare programs and initiatives and provide our global visitors the opportunity to better understand the work being done to successfully re-educate retired racehorses for secondary careers in Victoria.”
Prior to the virtual conference series in 2022 and 2021, IFAR had previously been held in conjunction with the Asian Racing Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in February 2020; the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation’s General Assembly in Oslo, Norway, in May 2019; the Asian Racing Conference in Seoul, South Korea, in May 2018; and the Pan American Conference in Washington, D.C., in May 2017.
For more information about the Asian Racing Conference and how to register, please visit https://arcmelbourne2023.com.
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. For more information on IFAR, visit https://www.internationalracehorseaftercare.com.