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International Breeders Group Wraps Up Conference

The International Thoroughbred Breeders' Federation met in Japan for a conference.

The International Thoroughbred Breeders' Federation has concluded what it's calling a highly successful "ITBF Conference 2024" held over five days in Japan.

The 70 ITBF attendees, from 21 of 27 member countries on six continents, received an outstanding level of hospitality from host JBBA (Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association).

The program commenced with attending the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks [G1]) in Tokyo, before all delegates were flown to Hokkaido for a two-day tour. An array of world-class stallions were shown at Shadai Stallion Station (including Equinox), Darley Japan, and JBBA Shizunai Stallion Station, as well as a visit to view the exceptional facilities at the JRA's Hidaka Training and Research Center.

On return to Tokyo, there followed two days of conferencing. A half-day veterinary meeting plus an all-day general meeting provided two extensive agendas, featuring topics of worldwide importance and interest—all offering an opportunity for questions and debate. The plenary veterinary lecture delivered by the host nation educated the audience on the important distinction between gene therapy, gene doping, and genetic manipulation—and the future implications of all.

Chairs of the ITBF, Kirsten Rausing, and International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, shared views on Thoroughbred industry enhancement through working collaboratively. Engelbrecht-Bresges further presented on equine welfare as the foundation of a socially responsible sport. Other presentations included environmental sustainability in stud farming from both Northern and Southern Hemisphere perspectives; the impact of racetrack closures in the United States; breeding in Latin America—past, present, and future; breeding and racing—the French System, as well as other international contributions.

At the general meeting, ITBF members voted unanimously to continue to stand resolute against the use of all artificial breeding methods (identified, and yet to be defined).

The impeccable welcome and farewell dinners with honored guests from the JBBA, JRA (Japan Racing Association), NAR (National Association of Racing), MAFF, and the Irish Ambassador to Japan, provided all with an immeasurable opportunity for worldwide professional networking.

ITBF will continue working to advance and protect the interests of Thoroughbred breeders throughout the world. Its next general meeting will be hosted by France in 2026.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.