• Dr Paull Khan

EMHF Executive Council holds successful meeting in Istanbul


The European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation held its annual Executive Council Meeting in Istanbul yesterday, hosted by the Turkish Jockey Club.

Mr Thierry Delegue, Chief Executive of France Galop, was confirmed as France’s representative.

The meeting gave its strong backing to changes to the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering designed to counter the threat of anabolic steroids. Brian Kavanagh, EMHF Chairman, said: “The EMHF’s Executive Council encourages and expects all 27 EMHF member countries to unite behind a zero tolerance approach to these and other doping agents, backed by an expansion of out-of-competition testing”.

Germany announced a relaxation of its entry conditions for handicap races, in a move that promises to increase international competition. Where, previously, foreign-trained horses could only contest the best quality German handicaps, they may from today (July 1st) enter any handicap, providing they have, this season or last, won a race in their own country.

EMHF is also taking up the cause of owners and trainers who have tax withheld from their prize money winnings in Germany. It will seek a ruling from HM Revenue and Customs, to take to the German authorities, in support of the verbal opinion they have given that tax must not be withheld, as these people should not be considered 'artistes or sportsmen'.

EMHF remains committed to providing an education programme for Racing Authorities in the ‘EuroMed’ region. In July it will stage a seminar on EU institutions in situ in Brussels, aimed at de-mystifying the workings of the European Parliament and Commission and providing guidance on lobbying for racing’s interests.

In September, a further two-day seminar will be held in Wellingborough on the practical administration of racing and breeding. Paull Khan, EMHF Secretary-General, and former Racing Director at Weatherbys, said: “I am delighted that Weatherbys have agreed to host this event, which is designed to give EuroMed countries with smaller racing industries practical advice on the myriad duties of a Stud Book and/or Racing Authority- from foal registration, import and export of thoroughbreds, through the naming process, registration of owners and their colours, race entries, payment of prize money, etc. We are expecting strong demand for this seminar.”

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