TOBA Part of New International Owners Association

A new global association hopes to serve as an advocate for racehorse owners, and among its goals are standardization of veterinary procedures in all member countries and acceptance of a code of conduct for industry professionals.

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association is part of the International Racehorse Owners Association, which was formed earlier in late February in Bangalore, India. Representatives from 11 countries agreed to open an office in Hong Kong, where Joseph Lo will serve as executive director.

TOBA president Dan Metzger didn't attend the meeting in India, but he was selected as a vice chairman of the organization.

"We've had talks over the years at international events," Metzger said, "and there has been a sense of a common thread on owners' issues on an international scale. The more we talked it over we thought there may be a need for an office, or at least at first a communications between the groups."

Peter McCarthy, president of the Irish Racehorse Owners' Association, serves as chairman of the international group. Some of the other countries involved are Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, and Japan.

The organization's mission is to promote racehorse ownership. It hopes to organize an annual forum to discuss key issues, and start other owners' associations in other countries or regions.

A report in the Deccan Herald in India offered more specifics. The report said a broad consensus was reached, and the focus would be on standardization of veterinary procedures in all member countries, especially with regard to full disclosure before horses are purchased; securing a spot on the International Pattern Committee; standardization of rules so horses can compete internationally with minimal hassles; forming a code of conduct for industry professionals; and marketing the sport to lure new owners.

"There are a lot of business issues that face us," Metzger said. "There are plenty of issues that impact owners."

An executive committee meeting is schedule for August in Turkey, Metzger said.