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"Aid for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake" raises funds for hard-hit Japanese horseracing industry

March 30, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

The Japanese Racing Association has issued a press release describing its fundraising efforts for the island's horseracing industry:

"Racing conducted between 19 and 27 March was held under the theme 'Aid for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake.' JRA would like to express its sincere gratitude to all the racing fans who have contributed to the charity measures and donations, which amounted to 44,735,867 yen (about $540,000 US/$520,000 CAD). Apart from its immediate donation of 100,000,000 yen, JRA has decided to donate 1,000,000,000 yen from the total turnover held during that time, and together with the other measures the donations from JRA amounted to 1,138,140,000 yen.

"The donations from each start during 19 to 21 March amounted to 27,600,000 yen from owners, 5,630,000 yen from trainers, and 5,121,000 yen from jockeys and together with the donations from JRA and the racing fans, all the donations collected during the 'Aid for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake" racing will be passed to the Japan Red Cross Society.

"Further, The March Stakes (G3) which will be held on Japanese 1000 Guineas day on Sunday, 10 April at Hanshin Racecourse will also be held as "Aid for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake" race and 5% of the turnover of this race will be donated to the earthquake victims."

After issuing this press release, Fumiaki Mizobe, DVM, of the Japan Racing Association (JRA), provided more information about the situation on the ground.

"There still are minor (after)shocks in eastern Japan," said Mizobe, adding that the ongoing situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant remains a concern to area residents.

Mizobe said that four riding clubs in the Miyagi prefecture and one in the Fukushima prefecture were submerged by the tsunami and suffered structural damage. He also relayed that at least 75 riding horses in the Miyagi, Fukushima, and nearby Tochigi prefectures died as a result of the quakes or tsunami.

While officials are still surveying the damage in some areas, local organizations are stepping up to help horse owners care for their surviving animals.

"As lots of devastating information gradually began to surface, small but very important attempts to improve the situation are being done by some associations," Mizobe noted.

According to Mizobe, the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association has begun transporting feed to these areas for the surviving horses.

Additionally, racing has resumed in western Japan. Mizobe noted that through fundraising efforts at the race meets, the JRA has donated more than 1.1 billion to disaster relief funds.

"Along with this, donations from the associations of horse owners, trainers, or jockeys were sent to the affected area," he explained. "To contribute more to support those affected from the crisis, JRA will continue to conduct various charity measures at racecourses."

The "Aid for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake" fundraising project is part of that assistance effort.