South American Horse Racing
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South American Horse Racing

OSAF stands for the globally well known South American Association for the promotion of thoroughbred racehorse breeding. An entity that horse breeding institutions of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela within the horse racing world OSAF is South America’s synonym. It was incorporated in May 1958, three years before Marcel Boussac and Jean Romanet organized the first committee of today’s fundamental international federation of horse racing authority.

OSAF actively participated in that process from the very start. OSAF represents a young and vigorous South American horse racing sector. A consolidated industry whose main characteristic is being the world’s breeder and supplier of thoroughbred race horses with successful outcomes since the first decades of the 20th century. Due to the generosity of many of its regions South America is very well known for its production of commodities, it’s agro-industrial profile and it’s products of excellence among others – the thoroughbred race-horse leading all equine breeds. Such top quality is due to the unparalleled natural conditions of most of the country’s subcontinent in addition to the ancient expertise that man has with horses. This man-horse relationship has its origin in the times of the conquest and today represents the distinctive value of the people of the region related to the breeding, training and riding of thoroughbred race horses. Today’s performance of the horses, born in our countries and every global race tracks is the result of a diversity of factors.
“Candy Ride, the Argentinean bred and Julie Crone win the Pacific Classic, medallion….”

The first of these factors is the enthusiasm that races cause since the very start, enthusiasm that increased when races began to be organized in the English style and within the environment of the race track. This passion, together with the competition itself and significant investments provided the basement for South American element in which Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay contributed in a high percentage. This explains the exports of the best European breeds long before the end of the 19th century. Since then, excellence has been the target. Mestistos, mixed breed horses were replaced by thoroughbred horses through an intensive, selective and rigorous process that lasted in time. Argentina has imported memorable horses such as Cyllene whose import impacted on the British parliament due to the loss that this represented to the Crown. As a symbol of those first steps in South America’s horse racing, the first race horse tracks were designed, mostly after the initiatives of British residents. Belgrano racetrack in Buenos Aires was one of the first and best organized and then after some time Palermo racetrack was built nearby. Inside the Santiago de Chile the Club Hipico was created and together with Belmonte Park in New York represented the first horse race track in America. The whole process was in line with the European traditions.

Regarding the architecture and organizational and statutory aspects, by the end of the 19th century an organized horse racing activity was born in several countries as a result of the efforts of talking clubs among them, Argentineans. Champions emerged soon after that and all showed need for quality horses set their eyes on South America. Constant would be export activities started taking place mainly of the classic winners of the region. With time, farming activity became an industry and today employs hundreds of thousands of people. In 2006, the production in South America accounted for approximately 16,000 thoroughbred racehorses representing 13% of the world’s breed production with almost 25,000 races performed. Nearly 30,000 horses compete in regional scenarios – San Isidro, Palermo and La Plata in Argentina; La Gavea and Cidade Jardim in Brazil; Club Hipico and Hipodromo Chile and Valparaiso Sporting Club in Chile; Monterrico in Peru; Maronas in Uruguay and La Rinconada in Venezuela, where classic racers are the basis for the selection process in each country and the launching platform of South American horses to foreign countries.

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