Monday, February 06, 2006
World Racing Championships to Develop Improved Recognition Criteria

The Committee of the World Racing Championships announced today that it will pause its operation for 2006 and will liaise with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities to study the feasibility of introducing in 2007 a new merit award system which would give worldwide recognition to the best performers around the world.

"The past winners of our World Racing Championships awards have truly reflected the winning spirit to support the growth of great international competition. As our member organizations look forward, we must provide a sharper focus on world rankings and recognition that can be widely tracked and accepted by the entire racing world," said Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland.

The World Racing Championships is a joint venture formed to provide a global showcase for the world's most prestigious international horse races. Its members include many of the leading race event organizers in the world, including Horse Racing Ireland, Arlington Park Racecourse, Ascot Racecourse, the Baden Baden Internationaler Club, Breeders Cup, France Galop, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Japan Racing Association, Moonee Valley Racing Club, Singapore Turf Club and Woodbine Entertainment Group.

The World Racing Championships venture has facilitated the growth and enhancement of racing in many ways since discussions among its members began in 1997, including:

  • Increasing the number of owners, trainers and jockeys competing across national borders,
  • Encouraging the highly successful Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races, the Asia Mile Challenge and the Global Sprint Challenge,
  • Encouraging international race events to bolster purses
  • Creating awareness to help drive international simulcast wagering levels
  • Enhancing the prominence of members countries' featured international races on the world stage

    During this time, the members have worked closely to promote international racing with significant sponsorship contributions from Emirates Airlines during the first three years, and Rolls Royce for one year.

    "While no timetable is set for a relaunch of the World Racing Championships in a new format, the members will continue their full commitment and cooperation to showcase international competition at its highest levels in racing. In the meantime, the World Racing Championships logo will continue to be used by member organizations to demonstrate their continuing association and commitment." added Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland.

    For more information about the World Racing Championships and its history,

    For more information contact:

    Horse Racing Ireland, Brian Kavanagh + 353 45 842800
    Ascot Racecourse, Douglas Erskine-Crum
    Hong Kong Jockey Club, Lawrence Wong
    Breeders' Cup, D.G. Van Clief
    Japan Racing Association, Dr. Naoake Koike
    France Galop, Louis Romanet
    Arlington Park, Dick Duchossois
    Moonee Valley Racing Club, Don Abell
    Singapore Turf Club, Yu Pang Fey
    Woodbine Entertainment Group, David Wilmott
    Baden-Baden Internationaler Club, Frank Joyeux