The word of AFAC - Portrait - Mélanie Vanlemberghe, the new face of the AFAC
Aged 32, Mélanie Vanlemberghe already has a wealth of experience in the racing industry. She was a work rider for Rupert Pritchard-Gordon for seven years, before moving to Dubai in 2009 in order to travel and learn English, whilst following her passion for racing. It was there that Mélanie began to work for Jebel Ali Stable as a work rider and secretary. She then became the registrer officer for the Emirates Racing Authority during the winter and for the Brisbane Racing Club (Australia) over the summer. "I learned a lot about horses with Rupert then at Jebel Ali Stable where I came across Purebred Arabians for the first time, she explained. As well as my Afasec formation, I passed a BTS Management Assistant course to acquire other skills. Thanks to that diploma, I had the possibility to work with the Emirates Racing Authority. Through this experience abroad, I realised how highly regarded French racing was across the world. They envy us our organisation, our work ethic, of course our prize money, and our land… Everyone dreams of having runners in France! " Returning to France in 2014, Mélanie moved to the South West for two years to work as assistant for Damien de Watrigant and Haras de Mandore. She perfected her racing knowledge and learnt about breeding and genetics from Jean-Marc de Watrigant.
Mélanie has just joined the AFAC, replacing Nicole Kraft. She will become the interlocutor for all the members and fans of the Purebred Arabian, a role that holds special meaning for her. "Thanks to the work of the Afac and the efforts of certain people, the Purebred Arabian has evolved dramatically over the last few years. Who would have thought ten years ago that we would be where we are today? When you compare the Thoroughbred and the Purebred Arabian, the gap is clear. We have more and more races. The race times are improving. The public auctions are progressing each year and the clientele is becoming increasingly international. I am delighted to have this opportunity to participate in the evolution of the Purebred Arabian, surround by the team at AFAC. I am of course thinking of the President Yves Plantin, the Vice-President Axelle Nègre de Watrigant, but also of everyone in the office and all the members."
Mélanie is currently working on a new website for the AFAC. "Good communication is the key to success”, she concludes.
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