We held a successful Annual General Meeting on Friday in Madrid, hosted by the Spanish Racing Authority, the Sociedad de Fomento de la Cria Cabellar de Espana.
Fifteen of our 21 member countries were present (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey), as well as an observer from Azerbaijan.
An application from Ukraine to join the Federation was approved, and it was also agreed to accept Croatia, should we receive a formal application by March 31st.
An extensive programme of seminars was agreed, to be hosted over the next three years by those countries with the most extensive racing industries (France, Great Britain and Ireland and Germany), for the particular benefit of member countries in which racing is on a smaller scale. These cover such topics as Medical Matters, Doping Control, Practical Administration in Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing and the Harmonisation of Rules.
The General Assembly agreed to place greater emphasis and resources on ensuring that the key messages of the thoroughbred racing industry across Europe were conveyed effectively to the political decision makers.
Excellent presentations were delivered by Nick Attenborough (Consumer PR Director of Racing for Change, the body set up by the British Racing authorities to promote British racing) and Faina Zurita de Ussia (President of the La Zarzuela racetrack) on the theme of 'Racing in Times of Economic Adversity'.
The Moroccan Racing Authority, the Societe Royale d'Encouragement du Cheval, kindly offered to host the next Annual General Meeting, on January 31st, 2014.