History of the Asian Racing Federation


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. The objectives of the ARF are:
  1. To meet and foster goodwill and mutual understanding through the medium of periodic conferences and other racing events in the member countries.
  2. To promote horseracing and breeding and the integrity and prestige thereof by any means that the Federation shall consider appropriate and which are in compliance with all existing laws, rules and regulations.
  3. To encourage and develop mutually beneficial objectives and strategies between racing organisations without discrimination to aid the development of horseracing.
  4. To exchange ideas and information on matters connected with horseracing.
  5. To encourage, promote and support international competition for jockeys and horses when conditions permit. 
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. In 2010 the Management Committee approved amendments to the ARF Charter to expand the Executive Council, on a provisional basis, to include Singapore, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The Executive Council meets approximately four times a year. 
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.


  ARF Executive Council Officeholders    
Chairman David Bourke Australia 1992 – 1997
  Murray Acklin New Zealand 1997 – 2003
  Larry Wong Hong Kong 2003 – 2007
  Winfried Engelbrecht Bresges Hong Kong 2007 – 2009
  Koji Sato Japan 2009 – 2014
  Winfried Engelbrecht Bresges Hong Kong 2014 –
Vice-Chair (2) Larry Wong Hong Kong 2001 – 2003
  Terry Imahara Japan 2001 – 2003
  Robert Charley Australia 2003 – 2007
  Naoki Koike Japan 2003 – 2007
  Isamu Takizawa Japan 2007 – 2009
  Cyrus Poonawalla India 2007 – 2010
  Guy Sargent New Zealand 2009 – 2012
  Bob Bentley Australia 2010 – 2012
  Winfried Engelbrecht Bresges Hong Kong 2012 – 2014
  Michael Duffy Australia 2012 – 2014
  Kaoru Obata Japan 2014 – 2016
  John Messara AM Australia 2014 – 2016
  Dr Makoto Inoue Japan 2017 –   
  Frances Nelson QC Australia 2018 – 2019

  Mr Greg Nichols Australia 2019 –