British, Irish and Japanese horse racing regulatory bodies have joined forces to create the Joint Cooperation Committee.
The deal sees the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Horse Racing Ireland team up with the Japan Racing Association (JRA).
The aims of the committee include promoting Japanese horses, while easing the travel of connections between the regions. Other objectives include the enhancement of awareness of each industry, creating a regulatory partnership and “further internationalising” horse racing.
The chairman of the new committee will be Joe Saumarez Smith, who is also the BHA chairman.
Commenting on the partnership, he said: “The British and Irish horse racing industries have enjoyed a close and fruitful relationship with the JRA – and the wider Japanese racing industry – for many years now.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with the JRA and are hugely grateful for their significant support. This can only lead to increased participation in each other’s racing, resulting in deeper fan engagement and increased and new revenues.”
British horse racing looking to stem decline in betting
In 2023, the BHA has made efforts to slow what it calls a decline in betting on British races.
For its 2024 fixture list, the BHA improved prize money and quality of races to support the betting aspect.
The BHA have improved the spread of fixtures on Saturdays while strengthening its Sunday offerings. The BHA expects the schedule changes, combined with the increase in competitiveness and quality of racing, to entice punters to bet on British horse racing again.
The alterations could help improve racing’s finances by approximately £90m over a five-year period. However, BHA chief operating officer Richard Wayman warned not all of the changes would be “immediately successful”.