Chairman Kim Nak-soon of the Korea Racing Authority (KRA) discussed international cooperation with the chairman of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF) at its head office in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province on Feb. 23.
The ARF chairman visited the KRA to congratulate Chairman Kim for taking over the association as CEO and to hold discussions on the development of the horse racing industry in Asia.
KRA is scheduled to host the 37th Asian Racing Conference in May, a global meeting where horse racing companies from 30 countries around the world are expected to participate. KRA will be hosting the event for third time following 1980 and 2015.
The ARF chairman said KRA has been a model for modern and progressive horse racing events and asked for its full support to make Asian horse racing a great success, calling for Korean horse racing to become an international success. Chairman Kim replied that KRA has been working to win the public’s trust by securing a balance in horse racing and horseback riding.
“The Asia horse racing conference will be an event where we can collect issues on horse racing in Asian countries and seek a common answer to the problems,” he said.
He added that around 400 horse racing experts participated in the 36th Asian horse racing conference in India, but Korea plans to have some 800 people to come to the event in Seoul this year.
It’s a chance to show off the Korean horse racing industry and strengthen its international image, he said.
The first Asian Racing Conference was held in 1960 in Tokyo on the initiative of Count Todamasa Sakai, President of the Japan Racing Association and Mr U Chit Khine of the Rangoon Turf Club.
This first convocation was attended by 69 delegates drawn from Burma, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaya, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. India intended to send a delegation but logistical problems prevented this from occurring.
From those early days, the Asian Racing Conferences expanded rapidly, both in the number of delegates attending and in the size of the geographical area covered.
At the 2nd Conference in 1961, Australia, India, New Zealand and Sarawak became official members; at the 9th Conference (1970) Korea and Turkey joined; at the 11th (1973) Indonesia and Pakistan; at the 16th (1982) Bahrain; at the 22nd (1991) Macau; at the 23rd (1993) South Africa; at the 24th (1995) the United Arab Emirates; at the 25th Conference (1997) Mauritius; and at the 26th Conference (1999) Saudi Arabia; and at the 27th Conference (2000) Oman; and at the 28th Conference (2001) Qatar.
At the 28th conference, it was decided to establish a permanent organization, the Asian Racing Federation. The objectives of the Federation have remained similar to those drawn up by Count Sakai and Mr Khine. Plenary assemblies of all the Federation’s members and associate members, termed Management Meetings, are held at each Asian Racing Conference. Between conferences the ARF is governed by an Executive Council. Up until 2010 the Executive Council consisted of nominees from Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, India and New Zealand.
The ARF is formally linked with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. Australia, Hong Kong and Japan have permanent seats representing the ARF on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities, and the ARF also nominates one of two rotational positions on the IFHA Executive Council.
The ARF Secretary-General also acts as a permanent technical advisor at meetings of the IFHA Executive Council.
Chairman Kim Nak-soon discusses the international cooperation issues with the visiting Chairman Wilfried of the Asian Racing Federation(ARF) at his office in Seoul on Feb. 23.(Photos: KRA)