A Guide To The Philippine Racing Commission

The Philippine Racing Commission, referred to as Philracom, is the official regulatory and supervisory body for horse racing in the Philippines. The organisation is an affiliate member of the Asian Racing Federation and is designated to direct and promote the growth and development of horse racing as a part of the sports development program and facilitate the role of horse racing as a source of employment and revenues.

This article offers a brief but insightful review of the Philippine Racing Commission, including its history, current structure, roles, and responsibilities.

History of the Philippine Racing Commission

Horse racing has a long-standing history in the Philippines, with its origin dating back to the Spanish colonial times when the sport was exclusively intended for the elite section of society. Races were organised for recreational purposes, and official betting was not available.

Formal horse racing in the Philippines started with the formation of the Manila Jockey Club in 1867. Around 100 individuals from prominent English, Spanish, and Filipino families established the club. The Philippine Racing Club was formed in 1937 with its track at Santa Ana Park, which was later relocated to Saddle and Club Leisure Park.

With the establishment of horse racing facilities and the increase in popularity of the sport, there was a need to regulate the sport. This led to the formation of the Philracom Republic Act, and the Games and Amusement Board was given the task of organising and supervising racing.

To cater to the growing horse racing industry, the Philippine Racing Commission was established in 1974. The commission was responsible for all activities related to horse racing, including regulation of processes and procedures and horse breeding.

However, the responsibility for the wagering system, management of live broadcast coverage, and other aspects related to horse race betting lies with the Games and Amusement Board Agency. The Philippine Racing Commission became a member of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities in April 2016.

Philippine Racing Commission Current Structure and Programs

The Philippine Racing Commission holds the status of a government agency under the office of the President, thereby operating with compliance to the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission.

The commission’s structure comprises a chairman at the top with six commissioners who represent a specific sector of the industry. These include horse owners, trainers, jockeys, and the racing public. Members of the commission review policy matters and strategy and form or modify the rules and regulations for Philippine horse racing.

Philracom supervises, directs, and coordinates the registration and licensing procedures for horse racing. It collaborates for forming the policies, drafting rules, and coordinating for implementation of activities related to the sport. The commission ensures compliance with rules and standards, inspects the races, and monitors horse breeding. It is also responsible for publishing the Philippine Stud Book.

An equine disease centre and laboratory is also in its domain that oversees the screening of runners for Equine Infectious Anaemia. It also works with various stakeholders, including clubs, trainers, and horse owners, to ensure that the racetracks, horse stables, and other relevant facilities are free of infection.

One significant program run by the Philippine Racing Commission is the Philracom Trainers Academy. The academy was established in 2015 and offers a two years course for racehorse trainers. The academy features an inclusive study format to provide a holistic and mutually beneficial learning experience to the trainees, who later assume the role of trainers.

The Philippine Racing Commission facilitated the establishment of various member associations. These include the Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organisation, the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners, the Jockey Association, the Trainers’ Association, the racehorse training association, the Manila Jockey Club, Klub Don Juan de Manila, and the Philippine Racing Club.

Philippine Racing Commission Sponsored Stake Races

Besides overseeing compliance with rules and regulations, Philracom sponsors stake races on a regular basis. These races offer prize money which is higher than the usual prize for the day.

Some of the most significant events organised by the commission include the Commissioner’s Cup, the Lakambini Stakes for three-year-old fillies, the Philippine Triple Crown Series, the Grand Sprint Championship, the Ambassador Eduardo M. Cojuaango Jr. Cup, and the Chairman’s Cup. Stake races for imported and local runners, juveniles and older horses, and fillies and colts are also organised.

One of the prominent reasons for establishing the Philippine Racing Commission was to become an economic booster and contribute to community welfare. The association hence strives to make horse racing a viable tourist attraction to draw in more revenue and give back to the community through its developmental outreach program.

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