Aftercare of Racehorses at the 39th ARF Conference

In this growing world of animal care, the 7th International Racehorse Aftercare Forum takes place on Tuesday 14 February at the Asian Racing Conference 2023 in Melbourne.

“After several years of online webinars, we are excited to see the return of our face-to-face IFAR event at this 39th Asian Racing Conference,” said Dr. Eliot Forbes, Chairman of the Conference Organizing Committee.

“Aftercare remains a key topic within racing and the community, and IFAR is the premier international forum for thought leaders to gather, share best practices and the future of global aftercare.”

For the first time, it will be a full day program facilitated at 9.30am at Spring Creek Equine, which is part of Racing Victoria’s racehorse judging education and training program.

Hosted by Samantha Cesnik and Chris Height who say “We will school all horses of all ages and abilities” Spring Creek specializes in the rehabilitation and retraining of retired racehorses.

“We are also excited to announce Spring Creek Equine as our go-to aftercare facility,” said Di Arbuthnot, Chair of the IFAR Steering Group, “and the hands-on work being done for our retired athletes.”

“We are also proud of the depth of knowledge that will be shared during our conference and that everyone will take away important information to improve the aftercare of racehorses around the world.”

At Melbourne’s Crown Conference Center for the PM session, Australian sportsman and Big Dreams host Tim Gilbert will open a forum on thoroughbred horse ownership and the racing industry.

New models for industry collaboration, training for success on the track, practical tools for temperament control, the importance of transition training, and realizing athletic potential will follow.

Hosted by Sky Racing personality Caroline Stacey, who also hosts and produces Bred To Win and Thoroughbreds Are Go, was recently elected as an Australian Turf Club Board Director.

The IFAR conference in 2023 will again be assisted by the Japan Racing Association, which has once again signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement to support the organization’s activities.

On Wednesday 15 February there will be a special screening of Here For The Horses, a 45-minute documentary celebrating the bond between horses and humans, produced by This Film Studio and RCKT Co.

Examining the lengths to which the Victorian industry goes to ensure the health and happiness of Thoroughbred horses before, during and after their careers on the racecourse and their care.

Through interviews with trainers, jockeys, breeders and officials and stable workers whose love of the horse inspires them to get out of bed at 3am in the dead of winter, it’s the heart of the sport.

Andrew Harding, ARF General Secretary, said: “ARF is delighted to include the IFAR conference as part of the ARC, and this is the third time we have hosted IFAR, demonstrating how valuable this connection is.”

“The safety and welfare of our equine athletes is paramount throughout their careers and beyond, and IFAR allows us all to learn about ways to improve our aftercare efforts on an international scale.”

In conclusion, Carly Dixon, ARC’s 39th Chief Executive at Racing Victoria, said: “We look forward to discussing how the global racing community can improve post-race horse welfare.”

“We are taking this opportunity to showcase our horse conservation programs and initiatives and an opportunity to understand what is being done to retrain retired racehorses for secondary careers.”

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