Action Hero

Listening to the Horses

Ernst Oertel photo: Nils Rosenkjaar

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A Moment In Time – with Jean-Pierre Deroubaix

Working with Iran for Stud Book Organization, Jockey Club and Animal Health Standards

1 June 2017, USA ~ We found French Bloodstock Agent and equestrian activist, Jean-Pierre Deroubaix, in Marrakesh, Morocco, just after his return from Iraq and Iran where he is helping to kick-start a new racecourse, a new Equestrian Center, and a new Jockey Club.

View/listen to the video. Full text below:

JPD: “Before Iran I went to Iraq, north in Kurdistan to the city of Erbil, not far from Mosul, about 75 km/ 100 miles from the conflict and war.[1] The Kurdistan people are fanatic about horses. Due to the war next door, a lot of horses went to Erbil to find a peaceful place.

“Last weekend we organized an Arabian beauty show in Erbil. Horses came from US, Europe, the Emirates. It is a one way trip as horses can only be imported, not exported.[2]

“We have just finished a new racetrack and we start the racing season in September. We also have other equestrian sports. Already we have organized with the FEI 2 jumping shows. About 20 horses came from different countries and we stayed in Erbil with local people. There were 12 riders who came from different countries to ride the horses. This was 18-19 May.[3]

“Then I went to Tehran, Iran. They have never stopped racing in Tehran, even during the time of Ayatollah Khomeini the race track was open. The big surprise was betting; they never stopped betting. They have Pari mutual betting, the same as we have in France. The betting money injected by bettors goes back to winners, breeders and owners. This way they can accept betting.[4]

“The idea is to separate the racing and the equestrian sport.They asked me to create a jockey club for Iran. I went there with Dr.Anthony Kettle, head of the Veterinary Department of the Dubai Racing Club, and Dr.Roland Devolz, Veterinary advisor of the International Federation of Horse Racing (IFHA) Authorities. One will be in charge of the Stud book and the other will be in charge of racing.”

After the above interview we updated Jean-Pierre’s news. To organize the Stud Books, to create a Jockey Club and to assure the control of animal diseases have been approved.

JPD: “My contract targets are:
– to create the Jockey Club of Iran, to write the new rules of racing and to have Iran becoming a member of the International Federations.
– to check the different stud books (registration of all the “equidae” in Iran)
– to check how Iran controls animal diseases
– to register all the owners, breeders of the existing horses (racehorses, showjumping and any other Equestrian Sport activities)
– to allow, one day, International Competitions, inside Iran
– to allow Iranian horses to participate to competitions outside of Iran

“We are talking about all different breeds: Thoroughbred horses, Pure Arabian, Anglo Arabians, Turkmen horses. The job will be to list the number of existing horses of each breed and those to be used as racehorses.

“They have already a good team in charge of the different stud books. Sheri Aslani is in charge of the Pure Arabian stud book and the Iranian Arabian Stud Book is a member of WAHO, so the horses are registered.

“In regards to the Stud Books and horse racing, this is why I visited Iran with Dr. Devolz, the veterinary advisor of IFHA. We also work closely with IFAHR, in charge of the Pure Arabian Racehorses. Dr. Devolz will check to be certain that the Stud Books are published properly, if all horses have a microchip, and where the horses are located, etc.

“Dr Anthony Kettle is in charge of the International movement of horses – import/export regulation. Both Dr Devolz and Dr Kettle already inspected with me the Ministry of Agriculture, the Veterinary Department and the local authorities in charge of controlling animal diseases. Iran is a member of the OIE (in charge of controlling the animal diseases all around the world).[5]

“We also went to inspect the Equestrian Federation and the main horse riding schools. My next trip will be to visit all od the main breeders (some have already been visited), the main training centers and the main racetracks (five), all around the country.

“Betting: It is allowed to bet on horse racing in Iran since the 1980’s and it was never prohibited by the local leaders. Betting in Iran is a kind of French Pari mutuel, like the Hong Kong Jockey Cub; a non-profit organization. The money invested by the punters is given back to the winners, less a percentage to pay for the organization (Jockey Club), the cost of the betting system, prize money given to owners and breeders, less a tax to pay for the construction of others sports sport facilities or hospital, mosques etc. Part of the money injected by the punters goes back to the system and creates employment. No bookmakers, no private people can organize betting.”

Iranian Breeder Shery Aslani said: “We will be beginning our races in Tehran (June 8) and I am happy that Jean Pierre will be helping us. I saw him also in Erbil.”

[1]Iraq has been a centre of Arabian horse breeding since the 18th century, Dr. Mohammed Al Nujaifi speaks of his family’s Arabian farm and properties near Mosul, now taken over by insurgents:  (
[2]Horse Show in Kurdistan:
[3]The first horse race on international standards was held in Erbil, Iraq, on 9 March 2017: Horse Beauty
[4]Parimutuel betting (from the French language) Pari Mutuel or mutual betting is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and the”house-take” or “vigorish” are removed, and payoff are calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. In some countries it is known as the Tote after totalizator.
[5] World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) – The main objective of the OIE is to control epizootic diseases and thus to prevent their spread.[3] It is recognized as a reference organization by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2014 had a total of 180 member states. website:

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