Working for Irish Breeders

ITBF Conference Review

International Thoroughbred Breeders' Federation’s (ITBF) biennial Conference, was held in Japan at the end of May 2024.
ITBF Conference Review

International Thoroughbred Breeders' Federation’s (ITBF) biennial Conference, was held in Japan at the end of May 2024. Host, the JBBA (Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association) welcomed around 70 delegates from 21 countries (including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay , New Zealand, Australia, France, UK, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong, Brazil, Turkey, India, and South Africa amongst others) to share knowledge and discuss topical and significant breeding and racing industry issues.

Ireland, and ITBA, was represented by a number of delegates who attended the conference over the week to network and share information with other attendees. The week commenced with tours around Hokkaido, where delegates were shown an array of world-class stallions at Shadai Stallion Station, Darley Japan and JBBA Shizunai Stallion Station, as well as a visit to view the exceptional facilities at the JRA’s Hikada Training and Research Centre.

Delegates also got the opportunity to experience the Japan Oakes and Derby, with over 10,0000 people in attendance, which generated a huge atmosphere.

Japan not only celebrates the horses, but also the jockeys as well. There have been massive efforts made to engage the public, which was very evident by the number of families and young children engaging with the sport on the day.

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Two days of conference followed which included a half-day Veterinary Meeting plus an all-day General Meeting featuring topics of worldwide importance and interest – all offering an opportunity for questions and debate. Chairpersons of the ITBF, Kirsten Rausing, and International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, shared views on Thoroughbred industry enhancement through working collaboratively and a strong takeaway from the week was the openness and level of sharing that each country engaged in.

Other presentations included International Movement of High Health Horses, World Reporting Systems for Infectious Diseases, Gene Doping, Environmental Sustainability in Stud Farming from both Northern and Southern Hemisphere perspectives, The Impact of Racetrack Closures in the USA, Breeding in Latin America – past, present and future, Breeding & Racing - the French System, amongst other international contributions.

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At the General Meeting, ITBF members voted unanimously to continue to stand resolute against the use of all artificial breeding methods (identified, and yet to be defined).

The impeccable welcome and farewell dinners with honoured guests from the JBBA, JRA (Japan Racing Association), NAR (National Association of Racing), MAFF, and the Irish Ambassador to Japan, provided all with an immeasurable opportunity for worldwide professional networking.

The Tokyo conference in entirety was deemed a resounding success by all delegates. ITBF will continue working to advance and protect the interests of Thoroughbred breeders throughout the world. Its next General Meeting will be hosted by France in 2026.

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