ARF’s newest affiliate member amongst industry profiles at 37th Asian Racing Conference

The 11th Plenary session of the 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul showcased three industry profiles, namely Iran, Macau and South Africa.

Ms Sherezade Amir Aslani presented from the Asian Racing Federation’s newest affiliate member, the Iran Equestrian Federation. “Modern racing was introduced in the capital of Tehran in the 19th century and was quite a pompous affair. Today racing in Iran features thoroughbreds, partbreds, Arabians and Turkomans.

“Other horse breeds include the Kurdish horse, the Dareh Shouri and the Caspian pony. Horse racing is both the sport of kings and also a national past time. Tehran has one racetrack, the Nowruzabad Racecourse, while Golestan (Province) has three tracks. There is currently a tremendous growth in the modernisation of the Iranian racing industry. We are very optimistic about the future of racing in Iran.”

Mr Kwang Eng Seong, Operations Controller of the Macau Jockey Club shared some insights on Macau racing with delegates. “The Macau Jockey Club intend to focus on rebranding itself as a lifestyle destination. Affordable horse ownership will be our priority and we pride ourselves on our familiarity with customers. With a small population of horses, winning is easy. A revision of the prizemoney structure is also being planned.”

Mr Lyndon Barends, Chief Executive, National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa closed the session with a broad overview of the South African racing industry. “We race 364 days per year on eight tracks and stage about 30 Grade 1 races. We have very robust sampling protocols, mainly post-race. On the import/export side, most of our exports are to Mauritius. Total betting turnover is around R6 billion per year.”

Earlier in the day, Asian Racing Federation Chairman and Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges shared the recent details regarding the potential development of racing in Hainan Province in the Chinese Mainland.

Issued on behalf of the Asian Racing Federation