10 May 2024


ITBF’s biennial Conference, will soon be underway, hosted by Japan in 2024. Members last met in Newmarket in 2022. Host, the JBBA (Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association) will welcome to Tokyo, around 70 delegates from 20 countries on 6 continents, plus organisations EFTBA and OSAF.

The General Meeting provides a platform for global information to be shared and discussed. Topical and significant breeding and racing industry issues are raised, and reports given on ITBF’s proactivity within both breeding and the wider Thoroughbred industries.

Notably in Tokyo, representatives from the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities) will be participating. Following the 2023 formal collaboration between the ITBF and IFHA, both Chairmen, Kirsten Rausing (ITBF) and Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (IFHA), will address the delegation on the importance of this welcomed agreement between breeding and racing. Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges will also present on Equine Welfare as the Foundation of a Socially Responsible Sport, a highly relevant topic. The IFHA/ITBF Working Group who meet regularly online, will also gather for a meeting in Tokyo. 

The Veterinary Conference is also a fundamental part of the week. Managed by leading international vet and ITBF Vice Chairman, Dr Des Leadon, industry experts from across the globe will contribute to the veterinary programme. The host nation’s plenary speaker Dr Teruaki Tozaki of the JRA, will present on ‘Biological Integrity of Thoroughbred Racehorses and Its Regulatory Challenges’.

Delegates are to be treated to a trip to Hokkaido, visiting Japan’s most prestigious stud farms to view their world-class stallions. Shadaii Stallion Station (home to the revered ‘Equinox’, Longines World’s Best Racehorse of 2023), Darley Japan Stallion Complex and Shizunai Stallion Station. Also, JRA Hidaka Training Farm and Bloodhorse Training Center are to be incorporated in the tour.

In addition to this extensive programme, Tokyo’s premier race meetings are being incorporated. With hospitality at the Japanese Oaks to begin the week, and the option of the Japanese Derby, once the meetings have concluded - it all promises to be an outstanding week for ITBF members, whilst offering an unrivalled opportunity to network with other nations.

ITBF Chairman, Kirsten Rausing said “The ITBF much looks forward to its Conference in Japan. The location of our meeting is topical and relevant, as it highlights Japan’s pivotal role in the contemporary Thoroughbred industry. The success of Japanese breeding and racing is a marvellous example to us all”.