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IFHA Announces Re-election of Chairman and Vice-Chairmen

During its meeting at the 2018 International Conference of Horseracing Authorities in Paris this week, the Executive Council of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) re-elected incumbent Chairman Louis Romanet and current Vice-Chairmen Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (Asia), Jim Gagliano (Americas), and Brian Kavanagh (Europe). The three-year term will last from October 2018 through October 2021.

“Horse racing is a globalized industry, and the IFHA remains dedicated to its task of promoting and standardising best practices,” said Romanet. “The newly re-elected Vice-Chairmen and I will continue in our efforts to bring uniformity to racing through the implementation of our strategic plan, which outlines the need for robust integrity measures. That includes but is not limited to the worldwide adoption of Article 6E of the International Agreement, which calls for out-of-competition testing for prohibited substances at any time in the career of any horse.”

Louis Romanet, picture IFHA/ScoopDyga

Information on the chairman and each of the vice-chairmen can be found below.

Louis Romanet

The Romanet family is synonymous with Thoroughbred racing in France, and Louis Romanet is the fourth person in his family, over three generations, to work for the Société d’Encouragement. He joined this organization in 1968 and was appointed Director General in 1986.

When France Galop was created in May 1995, Romanet was appointed France Galop Director of Organisation and International Affairs. He later served as Director General from 1998 through December 2007, when he retired from that position. He has held the title of Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities since its creation in 1994 and is starting his ninth mandate of three years.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges

Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges joined The Hong Kong Jockey Club in 1998 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2007. During this period he played a significant role in uplifting the quality and profile of Hong Kong horse racing to world-class standards.

Engelbrecht-Bresges is also the Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), which comprises over 20 member racing jurisdictions in promoting horse racing within Asia. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V., organiser of the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen. In April 2006 Engelbrecht-Bresges was appointed to the Board of the Equestrian Events (Hong Kong) of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad Co Ltd, the company charged with managing the operations of the 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Engelbrecht-Bresges was a Board Member of the German Jockey Club for 10 years, serving as Executive Vice President for six years.

Jim Gagliano

James L. Gagliano became president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club, the breed registry for all Thoroughbred horses in North America, on January 1, 2010. 

He had served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for The Jockey Club since June 2005. 

Since October 2010, he has served as vice chairman representing the Americas for the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ Executive Council. In January 2013, he was elected to the American Horse Council board of trustees for which he was elected vice chairman in June 2015 and chairman in 2018. In June 2016, he was named to the Humane Society of the United States National Horse Racing Advisory Council. In addition, he was elected to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance board of directors in December 2016. 

Brian Kavanagh

Brian Kavanagh has been the Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), the governing authority for horse racing in that country with responsibility for its development, promotion, governance and administration, since its establishment in 2001.  Horse Racing Ireland also owns four racecourses, owns and operates Tote Ireland and the international bloodstock promotion company Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. Brian has also served as Chairman of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation since 2011 and as Chairman of the European Pattern Race Committee since 2005.

Prior to taking on the role in HRI, Kavanagh was Chief Executive of the Irish Turf Club for two years and Manager of The Curragh Racecourse and Training Centre for five years. Previously he was employed as Financial Controller of the Irish Turf Club from 1985 to 1989. Kavanagh also and spent four years working as an accountant for KPMG, after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.), Accounting and Finance and a Diploma in Professional Accountancy from University College Dublin.

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