ISB : History

How the Stud Book in India evolved

The Indian horse, then, more popularly called the "country-bred" is believed to have gained prominence in the early 18th century. History has it that races were held in Madras in 1780. The Arab horses became good racers in Calcutta and the "Derby of Bengal" was popular among maiden Arabs. The number of horses was on the increase and so were the racecourses as more areas in India came under British rule. Horses and horsemen mushroomed in India - from the upper mouths of the Ganges to that of the Indus - from the Himalayas to Madras. Calcutta, being the colonial capital, became the headquarters.

India started importing horses under British rule from various countries and by 1862, as the sport of horse racing grew in popularity, there were close to one hundred race courses in India. These were mostly in towns where there were British cantonments.

The National Horse Breeding and Show Society of India published Volume 1 of the Indian Stud Book in 1927. However, this book included horses from various breeds like the English Thoroughbreds, Australian Thoroughbreds, Trotters, Marwari, Kathiawari, Desert Arabians, Half-breds, etc.

With the Eve Bloodstock Scheme (linked to RWITC. Ltd) becoming important in Western India and horses from the General Stud Book also gaining popularity, a 'Weatherbys like organisation' became essential in India.

In the 1930s, there were just two Turf Authorities in India - Royal Calcutta Turf Club and Royal Western India Turf Club. The responsibility of maintaining the Indian Stud Book was discussed and finally RWITC became the 'Keepers of the Indian Stud Book and duly published Volume 1 in 1942. At that time the Stud Book was a department of RWITC Ltd. and remained so till 1981 Then it was felt that as the Stud Book Department serves the entire thoroughbred industry in India it should be a separate authority and not a Department of RWITC Ltd. run by the Stewards of a Race Club.

Since then, the Committee of the RWITC Ltd became the Committee of Stud Book Authority of India and today hold the copyright of the Indian Stud Book. Further weight was lent to the Stud Book Authority of India, when it was internationally recognized in 1980 and then invited to join the International Stud Book Committee, comprising of nine World area members, the apex body for Thoroughbred breeding in the World.

The Stud Book Authority of India represents Asia, as one of the two Asian Zone Representatives, along with Japan, at the Annual Meetings of the International Stud Book Committee, which is held in September in Newmarket, England.

The Registered Office of the Stud Book Authority of India is situated at Race Course, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai - 400 034. The Indian Stud Book, headed by the Keeper &Registrar, is situated permanently at No. 6, Arjun Marg, Pune - 411 001 and all correspondence is addressed to it and is handled independently of other Departments of RWITC Ltd.

35th Asian Racing Conference - Mr Satish Iyer (Keeper & Registrar Indian Stud Book)