Cessation of thoroughbred racing in Singapore

Cessation of thoroughbred racing in Singapore

Cessation of thoroughbred racing in Singapore

The Asian Racing Federation acknowledges with surprise the recent decision of the Singapore Government to cease all thoroughbred racing in Singapore from October 2024 after 180 years.

Chairman of the ARF, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said:

“On behalf of all members of the Asian Racing Federation and the global racing family, I express our profound disappointment following the Singapore Government’s decision to cease racing next year. Our thoughts are with the participants, owners, stable staff and fans of racing in Singapore. The decision will have an enormous impact on many careers, businesses and lives which were based upon an expectation that racing would continue in Singapore into the future. It also poses major challenges to the welfare of Singapore’s existing horse population of over 700 horses which will need to be rehomed overseas.

Sadly, the decision will see the inevitable end to the long and proud history of our valued ARF member, the Singapore Turf Club (STC).  The STC has made a major contribution to the sport of racing and wider society in Singapore, and on the world stage. The STC has also made an outstanding contribution to the ARF as an Executive Council member over many years.”

The ARF has received a detailed briefing from the STC on the context of the decision and the work being undertaken by the STC to prepare for the task of winding down the racing industry in Singapore.  

During the course of this dialogue, the ARF expressed its concerns with the consequences which flow from the decision. These concerns include the need to rehome, via export, over 700 horses from Singapore, either for retirement or future racing, which is a massive task and brings with it horse welfare considerations which will require extensive planning.  In addition, maintaining sufficient qualified and experienced staff to ensure the welfare and maintenance of the horses until October 2024, as well as to maintain the necessary standards of racing integrity, will be major challenges. Further, in circumstances where hundreds of horses will require export from Singapore, the ARF anticipates a very material impact on third countries. This includes extraordinary demands being placed on limited quarantine facilities and operations through the ARF footprint.

Chairman of the ARF, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said:

“Very extensive and intensive planning is now required to navigate major risks and challenges.  

Whilst the ultimate responsibility for the consequences of the decision will rest with the authorities in Singapore, I believe that we will need to harness the expertise and resources of the regional and international racing community to avoid major negative outcomes, particularly in relation to horse welfare, which have the potential to arise here.

The ARF will endeavour to identify areas where we can provide relevant advice to assist the STC during this transition period.”


Contact for further information:

Secretariat, Asian Racing Federation



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