During its meeting at the 2015 Pan American Conference, the Executive Council of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) re-elected for a term of three years incumbent Chairman Louis Romanet and current Vice-Chairmen Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (Asia), Jim Gagliano (Americas), and Brian Kavanagh (Europe). The term will encompass October 2015 through October 2018.
Following the election, Romanet expressed his core objectives for his eighth mandate as Chairman of the Federation. “In an increasingly globalized industry, the IFHA must remain focused on its mission as a conduit of good regulation and practices on international matters,” said Romanet. “With the newly re-elected Vice-Chairmen we will develop an action plan in order to meet the Federation’s goals for the next three years.”
Romanet detailed the main strategic aims for the IFHA. He would like to see the organization:
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 will start his eighth mandate of three years in October 2015.
Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges has been Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club since February 2007. He is also the Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), which comprises over 20 member racing jurisdictions in promoting horse racing within Asia. Engelbrecht-Bresges is also a member of the Advisory Board of Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V., organiser of the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen.
Engelbrecht-Bresges joined the Club in 1998 as Director of Racing and was appointed Executive Director, Racing, in 2000, at which time his portfolio was extended to include responsibility for the Property Department. During this period he played a significant role in uplifting the quality and profile of Hong Kong horse racing to world-class standards.
Prior to joining the Club, Engelbrecht-Bresges spent six years as CEO of the governing body of German horse racing and breeding, whose members include the representatives of racecourses, the Trainers and Jockeys Association and the German Breeders and Owners Association.
Jim 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.
Prior to joining The Jockey Club’s management team, Gagliano served as Executive Vice President of Magna Entertainment Corporation’s Maryland racing operations, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Maryland Jockey Club. He also served as President, MEC OTB, and Group Vice President, MEC Northern Group.
Before that, Gagliano served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Greenwood Racing Inc. and worked in various roles during a 10-year stint with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. In January 2013, he was elected to the American Horse Council board of trustees.
Brian Kavanagh has been Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) which is the governing authority for racing in that country with responsibility for its development promotion and administration. Horse Racing Ireland also owns four racecourses, owns and operates Tote Ireland and the bloodstock promotion company Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. Brian has also served as Chairman of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation since 2011 and 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 spent four years working as an accountant for KPMG, after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), Accounting and Finance and a Diploma in Professional Accountancy from University College Dublin.