British, Irish and Japanese horse racing regulators have joined forces to form the Joint Cooperation Committee.
The agreement sees the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the Irish Horseracing Authority cooperate with the Japan Racing Association (JRA).
The committee’s aims include promoting Japanese horses and facilitating travel connections between regions. Other goals include increasing awareness of each industry, creating a regulatory partnership and “further internationalizing” horse racing.
The chairman of the new committee will be Joe Saumarez Smith, who is also president of the BHA.
Commenting on the partnership, he said: “The British and Irish horse racing industries have had a close and productive relationship with the JRA and the wider Japanese racing industry for many years.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with JRA and are extremely grateful for their significant support. “This can only lead to increased attendance at each other’s races, which can lead to deeper fan engagement and increased and new revenues.”
British horseracing wants to stem decline in betting
In 2023 the BHA has made efforts to slow the decline in betting on British racing.
The BHA has improved prize money and the quality of races to support the betting aspect for the 2024 fixture list.
The BHA have strengthened their offering on Sunday while improving their fixture spread on Saturday. The BHA expects the program changes will combine with an increase in competitiveness and quality of racing to encourage punters to bet on British horse racing again.
The changes could help improve racing funding by around £90 million over a five-year period. But BHA’s chief operating officer, Richard Wayman, warned that not all changes “will be immediately successful”.