As is well known, the history of horse racing and breeding goes back to a few centuries.Many countries consulted one another, sometimes, even on important issues. However, in the absence of an international forum, knowledge and exchange of information of racing and breeding had been restricted to smaller groups.


The Paris Conference Horse racing authorities of USA, France, GB and Ireland met formally in Paris in October 1961 under the banner of the International Joint Secretarial Liaision Committee. The next Meeting, held in Newmarket in 1966 was called the Meeting of the International Stewards. Subsequent meetings were held in Paris and though, the name of the Meeting changed often, it got to be known more popularly as the Paris Conference.

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) got its formal name in 1993. The International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (IABRW), specifying broad guidelines on various aspects of Breeding and Racing was first published in 1974. Broadly, the articles relate to :-

(a) Rules of Racing.

(b) Books of Heredity.

(c) Financial Settlements, and

(d) Health Regulations.


The present membership strength of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is about sixty. There are also a few countries who attend as observers. The Executive Council of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) comprises of :

Chairman ( 1 Vote)
Rotating Members (2 Votes)

(a) Europe : France, GB and Ireland (3 votes)

(b) North America : USA and Canada (2 votes)

(c) South America : Organisation Sud Americano Fomento - OSAF (1 vote)

(d) Asia : Asian Racing Federation- ARF (3 votes)

Co-ordinating functions related to various branches is done by the Executive Council with help and advise from Sub-Committees, which are appointed to deal with specific branches like: -

(a) Steering and Wagering

(b) Prohibited Substances

(c) International Movement of Horses

(d) Technical Advisory Committee.

World Organisational Members like the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), the Carribean Racing Organisation, the North American Conference, the South American Organisation are also invited to join the Conference.


The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)'s basic functions are to ensure:-

(a) Co-ordination of Rules of member countries regarding breeding, racing and wagering.

(b) Quality and fairness of Racing.

(c) Welfare of horses, jockeys, trainers and owners and racing patrons.

Amendments, additions to Articles of the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (IABRW) are discussed at the Annual Conference, which is held on the Monday after the running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Member countries are signatories to various articles.

The list of Internationally Protected Names is also approved at the annual Meeting and disseminated to all concerned.



The Paris Conference being the only international forum, its annual Agendas also included breeding matters. However, countries not having stud books did not seem to be interested in the discussions. On the other hand, members felt that ‘breeding’ was a specialized branch and matters ought to be discussed in detail.

In 1976, Weatherbys’ then Chairman Christopher Weatherby, organised a specific conference for breeding issues and the initial conference, held in London was attended by Weatherbys, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, France, South Africa and Organisation Sud Americano de Formento (OSAF). Japan was invited to the Conference in 1978 and India in 1980, when all members were given specific regional responsibilities and the word “Conference” was replaced by “Committee”.


The organisational structure of the International Stud Book Committee (ISBC) is as under :-

Weatherbys - Chairman & Secretariat

(a) GB/IRE and France representing the Europe and Mediterranean region.

(b) USA representing North and Central America.

(c) Organisation Sud Americana de Fomento (OSAF) (Argentina) representing South America.

(d) Australia and New Zealand representing the Oceanic region.

(e) South Africa representing Southern Africa.

(f) Japan and India representing Asia.


The ISBC meetings are held annually in the week preceding the Arc. Each member country is allowed two representatives and each country is allowed one vote.

All major decisions need to be unanimous, which means that the member countries have the power of veto.

Some of the important topics which are discussed at ISBC Meetings include :

(a)Definition of a Thoroughbred


(c)Approval of stud books

(d)Promotion to Thoroughbred/Vehicle status

(e)Parentage validation by Blood Typing / DNA

(f)Identification of horses, etc.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the IFHA has one representative from ISBC on its panel.



The Asian Racing Federation (ARF), which was called the Asian Racing Conference till 2001, was established in 1960. The countries who attended the first Conference were Burma, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaya, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

At the second Conference held in 1961, Australia, India and New Zealand became official members, followed by Korea, Turkey and Pakistan. The list of member countries kept growing at every conference.

Hong Kong has the distinction of being listed as one of the founding members. It must however, be noted that after having attended the first two conferences, they did not attend the conference for almost eight years in succession.


The Executive Council of the Asian Racing Federation is made up of five permanent members viz. Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and New Zealand. The Executive Council elects a Chairman and two vice-Chairmen, who hold office till the next Conference. The Secretary-General is appointed by the members of the Executive Council.


The Executive Council meets in Paris every October. It also meets in Hong Kong or in Dubai in between. The Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Executive Council are also members of the Executive Committee of the IFHA. The Secretary-General of the ARF is also a technical advisor at meetings of the IFHA Executive Council.


Full membership is granted to those countries within the general geographic area, who have an established racing authority. The members must also undertake to host a racing conference in future. Associate membership is given to countries in which racing authorities are comparitively recent or are not able to undertake hosting of a conference.

Australia, Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia/Singapore, Mauritius, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and UAE are full members. Vietnam is an associate member, whereas Indonesia, Kuwait and Turkmenistan are affiliate Members.


The basic functions of the ARF are :

(a)To hold Meetings regularly and promote horseracing. The Federation meets once in approximately 18 months.

(b)To encourage and develop mutually beneficial objectives and strategies between racing organisations without discrimination.


Background Similar to the initial practice at the Paris Conference, stud book matters pertaining to the Asian region were being discussed with Veterinary and Breeding aspects of the ARF. Certain items required more attention and formation of a separate Stud Book forum for the Asian region had become very important.

The efforts of Japan and India finally yielded fruit, when the first Asian Stud Book Conference was held in Hyderabad on 22 Jan 1995.


The members of the ASBC are primarily those Stud Book Authorities (SBA) located in the Asian zone. Participation in a Meeting of the ASBC is mandatory for these countries.

Associate membership is also given to approved SBAs located outside the Asian zone, as defined by ISBC. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are associate members. Hong Kong, and Macau, though within the Asian zone are associate members, because they do not have breeding.

Countries like Iran, and Vietnam, who are neither full members nor associate members, attend the conference as “Observers”.

The Co-Chairmen, are from India and Japan.

The ASBC Secretariat is permanently based in Japan and the Secretary-General of the ASBC, is nominated by Japan Association for International Racing and Stud Book (JAIRS)


The ASBC Meetings are held as and when the ARF Meetings are held in one of the member countries. The next Meeting is scheduled to be held in Hongkong in 2014.


The functions of the ASBC are: -

(a)To promote International standardization for registration and Identification of thoroughbreds.

(b)To assist emerging stud books to gain approval.

(c)Discuss various problems pertaining to stud books in the Asian region.

(d)Maintain a close liaison with ISBC and disseminate its directions to the ASBC countries.