19 December 2014
The Racing/Sports Editor
From 9th – 16th December the Executive Council of the Asian Racing Federation and several working groups of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities have conducted a range of meetings focused on strengthening racing.
Asian Racing Federation
On Saturday 13th December the Asian Racing Federation Executive Council considered current issues relating to betting. The Federation's vision for increased wagering links between member countries through commingling is now coming to fruition, delivering significant benefits to racing and enhancing the enjoyment of overseas racing by fans. The Executive Council identified the associated need for adequate protection of racing's intellectual property rights, and in particular the requirement that wagering operators only use a country's racing events with the explicit consent of the relevant racing authority. This principle will be promoted with governments within the region through a structured program coordinated by the ARF Secretariat.
The Executive Council also noted with approval work done by the ARF Secretariat on strengthening Article 10 of the International Agreement, which deals with reciprocation of penalties. This Article establishes disciplinary machinery which is essential to facilitating international racing, and the improvements which have been developed will help ensure that it continues to operate effectively.
Harmonisation of raceday rules
On Friday 12th December the IFHA International Harmonisation of Raceday Rules Committee meeting was attended by Stipendiary Stewards and senior racing officials from nine countries. The meeting dealt with a wide range of important issues relating to the integrity of the sport:
Horses carrying weight to the finish of a race
The Forfeit List as it relates to the reciprocation of penalties
Uniform whip specifications
Late loading of unruly horses
Embargoes placed upon horses in each jurisdiction
Definition of disqualifications
International gear registers
Rules addressing reporting of offences
Application of protest/objection/interference Rules in various jurisdictions
Veterinarian’s List of unsound horses
Horses being permitted to racing unshod/partly shod
Jockeys remounting horses during a race
International Movement of Horses Committee
On 15th and 16th December the International Movement of Horses Committee was attended by representatives of racing and breeding, quarantine authorities, veterinary services, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Participants were drawn from 16 countries. The IMHC meeting identified restrictions on the movement of horses and worked on strategies to support increased international competition.
World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee
From 9th to 15th December the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee (WBRRC) met to agree on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2014. These will be published on Tuesday 20th January, 2015. The meeting was attended by representatives of all 18 member countries of the Committee, plus an observer from Uruguay, which will become the 19th member country of the WBRRC in 2015.
ARF Chairman, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges says that the past week has been able to make a material contribution to the continuing work of the ARF and IFHA to strengthen racing.
"This is an exciting time for racing with internationalisation of the sport now well-developed, but we will not relax our efforts. There are a number of areas where improvements can be made, including in the areas of the international movement of horses, harmonisation of the rules of racing, and the protection of our intellectual property rights."
"What we have been able to achieve in terms of a harmonisation of the rule of racing which ARF countries use to decide protests and objections is a major breakthrough. Attention has now turned to the scope for further reform to create consistency across the region.”
“Having established a formal collaboration between the racing industry and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) excellent work has been done this week to operationalise this and enhance our capacity to undertake temporary movements of horses to compete in the growing number of international racing events."
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chairman Asian Racing Federation
Notes to Editors
The Asian Racing Federation is the representative body for thoroughbred racing in Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Southern Africa. Its members are the national racing authorities across this region which stage thoroughbred races. Collectively these countries stage 54,000 races per year, account for 54% of global prize money, produce an annual foal crop of 50,000 foals, and hold 47 of the top 100 Group 1 races in the world. The Federation organizes the bi-annual Asian Racing Conference, first held in 1960.
The Executive Council of the ARF consists of Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and the UAE.
Further inquiries: Andrew Harding
(852) 2966 7991