‘In 2018-19 the Thoroughbred Racing Industry in the Asian Racing Federation Jurisdiction generated US$26.9 billion in GDP, and actively sustained more than 570,000 jobs in the region.’
In launching Thoroughbred Racing in Asian Racing Federation Jurisdictions: An Economic and Social Impact Assessment, ARF Charman Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges reported that ‘ARF Members hosted approximately 50% of the IFHA’s top 100 Grade-Group One races globally.’
In using 2018-19 racing season figures, the ARF aimed to qualify the economic and social contribution that the thoroughbred racing industry generates nationally in member jurisdictions.
In engaging IER, the study key focus was aimed on employment generated, number of participants, total direct expenditure, contribution to the GDP and social and community importance.
Of the US$26.9 billion Gross Value being generated by thoroughbred racing, it was found the direct and first round impact was US$10.8 billion with an induced impact of US$16.1 billion.
In saying that 570,000 jobs were sustained by racing industry activity it was calculated that direct and first round impact was 301,661 and inducted impact of 268,885.
This also generated US$14.5 billion in total household income and created US$6.9 billion in taxation revenue, with US$834 million delivered to charitable institutions across the jurisdiction.
In calculating total direct spending at US$19.3 billion, it was found US$15.2 billion was spent on racing and wagering, US$2.3 billion on training race horses and US$1.6 billion on breeding.
Prizemoney totalling US$2.1 billion was distributed at 6,799 race meetings being conducted by 532 race clubs, holding 55,839 races at 504 racecourses, with an annual 33.6 million attendance.
With some 279,817 participants within the ARF, 149,827 owners raced 82,230 starters from 83,237 horses in training, prepared by 7,058 trainers who engaged 3,588 jockeys and apprentices.
In trainers employing 28,611 stable staff, racing clubs and peak associations employed 75,271 personnel within 2018-19, who also engaged some 15,462 volunteers.
ARF countries hosted some 50% of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ top 100 Group-Grade races globally, with Japan’s Takarazuka Kinen rated the highest on fifth.
Japan followed with the Arima Kinen, The Grand Prix, rated sixth equal to that of the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick also sixth, with the Ladbroke Cox Plate on ninth.
Hong Kong followed with the FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup being 10th, the Longines Hong Kong Vase 13th, then to the Dubai World 17th and rated 31th was the Rising Sun Gold Challenge at Greyville.
In being a regional federation, the Asian Racing Federation comprises 28 national racing authorities and racing-related organisations, and has its headquarters in Hong Kong.
Founded in 1960 when the first Asian Racing Conference was held in Tokyo, the ARF was formally established as a permanent organisation at the 28th ARC in 2001
Today, the ARF continues to organise the ARC and other racing events in member countries to foster goodwill and mutual understanding between members and other key stakeholders.
It promotes horseracing and breeding, and the integrity and prestige of the sport, also encouraging and developing mutually beneficial objectives and strategies between racing organisations.
In addition, the ARF exchanges ideas and information on matters connected with horseracing and encourages, promotes and supports international competition for jockeys and horses.
The ARF is formally linked with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, with Australia, Hong Kong and Japan having permanent seats on the Executive Council, based in Paris, France.