34th Asian Racing Conference Opens in Istanbul His Excellency Mr Mehmet Mehdi, the Republic of Turkey Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has formally opened the 34th Asian Racing Conference in Istanbul. 

34th Asian Racing Conference Opens in Istanbul His Excellency Mr Mehmet Mehdi, the Republic of Turkey Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has formally opened the 34th Asian Racing Conference in Istanbul. 

The 34th ARC has attracted more than 500 delegates from 43 countries, physical embodiment of the conference’s theme, “Bridging Worlds”. 

His Excellency was joined by the President of the Jockey Club of Turkey, Mr Ömer Faruk Girgin, and the Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation, Dr Koji Sato. 

His Excellency said that during the conference which will last 4 days, resolutions will be made through various ideas and speech platforms, to shape the equine activities of the future years. Eker continued, “21 countries are attending in this conference with delegates. Furthermore, 38 countries are attending this conference through representatives. This conference will see many important decisions being signed with the contribution of around 1000 participants. I, as someone who loves horses, believe that horses are similar to mankind from an emotional point of view. These aspects distinguish horses from other living beings and animals. As the ministry in charge of equine activities in Turkey, we have covered great distance in the last 7 years as a government to ensure that the horsemanship develops and flourishes, in terms of infrastructure, facilities, training and the necessary legal arrangements. We have allocated 170 million TL for the horse industry from public resources in the last 7 years. With the investments we will make in the 2012-13 period, this figure will reach 300 million liras. According to the 2012 schedule, 3800 races have been planned in 8 racecourses in 568 race days for thoroughbreds and purebreds. In 2013, we will increase the number of racecourses from 8 to10.”

Minister Eker gave examples about the place of Asian racing in the world horse racing sector, and on the relevant numbers, and talked about the conference guiding the world horse industry. He said that on the contrary of the damage on the world equine sector in 2008, Turkey grew by 23% in the equine sector, just like it did in other areas. 

Noting that interim areas need to be created between federations to ensure an active communication, Minister Eker wished for global and universal harmonization in horse races as well, and said “No horse should run under medication for therapeutical purposes”. Eker continued: “I wish to emphasize this for the participants both as a veterinarian and as a horse lover. I would like to express the necessity of applying strict sanctions for those who run horses this way. Measures need to be taken to ensure that half breeds are not allowed in the system to protect the Purebred race.” 

Eker completed his words saying, “Hoping that the conference, and you esteemed participants offer benefits for the equine industry, I would like to thank you, and extend my deepest respect; I wish you a wonderful time in Istanbul”. 

Mr Girgin said: “We have gathered in our country from all over the world with the love of that divine creature we know as horse. Our country is a founding member of ARF and is hosting the ARF conference for the third time. The first time was held in 1973, second in 1991, and the last for the third time, as hosted by our esteemed Minister. We are happy, enthusiastic and proud on behalf of the Turkish equine sector. We are also proud to see hundreds of horsemen and specialists here. At this point that the Turkish horsemanship has arrived, in line with the development attempt made by our country in the recent years, our horsemanship has kept pace with the same speed as well. With the valuable contributions our esteemed Prime Minister, government and his Excellency Mr Minister, the Turkish horsemanship has made a statement for the last decade. With this opportunity, I would like to extend my gratitude for the past boards of directors of the Jockey Club of Turkey, the Turkish Race Horses Owners Association, and the entire community. We are very happy to see you here among us, and for the fact that you will enable various discussions and meetings as well as social activities that will provide direction not only for the Asian equine sector or the Australian and the New Zealand equine sector but the entire sector across the world. I am confident that you will have a wonderful time in our beautiful Istanbul, and will carry out activities that will bring major benefits for the equine sector. With my deepest love and respect”

Dr Sato said that Turkey can be seen as a bridge connecting both the Oriental and Occidental. 

“While the Asian Racing Federation exists to promote racing in our region, we firmly believe that the best future for our sport is for it to become a truly international sport. Both geographically and culturally Turkey bridges worlds and is the ideal venue to develop our vision for a global future” 


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