History - International Cataloguing Standards Committee


Presentation made at the 2002 Paris Conference by
Chairman of the ICSC

Fasig TIPTON Co uses bold face types to designate stakes winners in sales catalogue pages
Keeneland sales adopt it
1st edition of Cataloguing Standards for foreign racing published by Blood Horse for 2 years and then by the Jockey Club Statistical Bureau
Creation of the European Pattern Races
Creation of the American Graded Stakes

1st International Cataloguing Standards Booklet
Creation of the International Cataloguing Standards Committe
Creation of Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers (SITA)

Objectives :

  • To prevent discrepancies between countries in the criteria applied for black type races in sales catalogues

  • To define more objective standards in the recognition of racing quality among the nations

  • To prevent imbalances between countries in the designation of Group or Grade and black type races.
Original composition :

12 members
4 countries : 3
representatives :

- 1 Jockey Club or Turf Authority
- 1 Auction Companies
- 1 Breeders' Association
  • Booklet :
- Established by the ICSC
- Published by the Jockey Club (US) in association with Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and European Pattern Commitee
- Sponsored by SITA
  • Chairmen :
1983 Peter WILLETT
1987 Count Roland de CHAMBURE
1988 Jacques WIMPFHEIMER
1992 Louis ROMANET
  • Secretaries :
1983 Sam SHEPPARD, who was also Secretary of the English Breeders' Association
1986 Matthew Mc CLOY, who was also Secretary of SITA
1999 Carl HAMILTON, President of the Jockey Club Informations Systems Inc. who publishes the booklet.
Composition of the Committee


- 4 countries : GB, IRE, FR, USA
- 12 Members : 9 European, 3 North American


- 4 founding countries
- OSAF - Asian Racing Conference

17 members : (including 5 SITA members)

9 European
6 North American
1 Asian
1 South American

One of the major changes was the creation in 1992 of a special section in Part I called " Other races " which listed international open races run in countries still in Part II. The aim was to encourage the Part II countries to create and promote international racing.


The basic criteria taken into account for classification in Part II of the " International Cataloguing Standards " booklet :

  1. The percentage of black-type races to the total number of races run in that country (It should be no higher than 3 %).

  2. The ratio of the number of different horses to start in that country to the number of black-type races (It should be no lower than 40:1).

  3. The percentage of black-type races which are open to foreign horses.

  4. The performances of the horses trained in that country when racing abroad.


Future developments:

  • Continuous development of Intercontinental racing in the countries who are members of the Asian Racing Conference :
- Australia : Cox Plate - Merlbourne Cup and others
- Hong-Kong : 4 Group 1 and 1 Group 2 in 2001
- Japan : From 18 races in 2001 to 24 races in 2004 opened to foreign trained horses
- Singapore : 1 Group 1 and 2 Group 3 in 2002
- UAE : Dubai World Cup Day :
  • 1996 : 10 International runners
  • 2001 : 70 International runners
  • 2002 : (4 Group 1 - 3 Group 2)

Creation of Classic Calendar :

  • UAE 2000 and 1000 Guineas : Derby and Oaks
  • Development of the World Series : 12 races, 10 countries, 4 continents
- 1st semester : 1 race in March
- 2nd semester : 11 races between the end of July and Mid December
- 1st semester must be reviewed with additional races from Australia, Asia, Europe
- South America should become part of it
- Possible extension to Milers and Sprinters Series

Main benefits of World Series :

- Promotion of racing in the media world wide
- Development of intercontinental racing
- Improvement of the International Classifications
- Increase of the prize money of the races concerned
- Incentive to keep horses in training after their 3 years old carreer.

  • Establishment of International Classifications by continent and world wide : Asia and South America

  • Revision of Grading system in Part I countries taking into account rating parameters

  • Modification of the ground rules applied by the ICSC for promotion of individual races since year 2000

- Two years prior running for Group 1 and 2
- Two years prior running for Group 3 or one year under exceptional circunstances (level of ratings, prize money) : ex. : Hong Kong Sprint & UAE Derby
- first year Group 3 and second year Group 2.

  • Creation of a special section in Part II of the booklet as " Other Races " for International Races organised by Part III countries which would then receive black type status :

- International Races in Turkey
- Clasico International del Caribe (rotating between Part II and Part III countries)
- Any other international race created with good quality of horses from the country and abroad.



1983 - 2003 = 21 years since ICSC was created :

    - its composition has been enlarged à its criteria are regularly reviewed
    - the international classifications are playing a key role in the promotion of races
    - all Part I countries must be included in the Classifications and review their Grading system accordingly with the introduction of Quality Control à
    - Part II and Part III countries must be encouraged to develop international races who could be promoted to an upper Part

At their annual meeting held in London on 18th June 2007, ICSC members underlined the duplication of efforts between International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee (IRPAC), set up by the IFHA Executive Council on March 2002, and ICSC. They decided that :

- Group/Grading responsibilities should be under IRPAC with ratification required by SITA.
- The regional ICS Sub-Committees would be responsible for catalogue page format issues, without an international level.

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