Elif ERGU-SATURDAY CATS
Yasin Kadri Ekinci, President of the Jockey Club of Turkey (TJK), has been working for 2 years on the ‘Horse City’ project to improve equine activities in Turkey, which ranks 5th in Europe and 10th in the world. Ekinci proposes that the military areas that are planned to be removed from the city of Istanbul be considered as “Horse City”.
The Turkish Jockey Club (TJK) was established in 1950 as an association aimed at protecting the equine breed. The address of horse breeding in Turkey, TJK has been working on a new project for a while. We spoke to TJK President Yasin Kadri Ekinci about his new projects, horse breeding in Turkey and developments in the sector.
– What is the situation in Turkey compared to the rest of the world?
In horse breeding, Ireland, the countries of South America have overtaken us. It is very important in America. In Japan, the government is preparing a program. The place that has developed most recently is Australia. Unfortunately, we have a problem with our perception. Horse racing is considered burglary, the first thing that comes to mind is common betting. They are separate things. Horse racing should not be confused with odds. We can enter the top 5 with a 5-10 year strategic plan. 5th in Europe and 10th in the world. We lost one line each due to loss of foreign currency.
WE ARE A BAD INVESTMENT
– How many resources are needed to develop this activity?
We have been determining our turnover since the 1960s. Total turnover of 24 billion dollars. The investment made in this sector is 500 million dollars. It’s a funny number. This industry is poor in investments. It should be a quick planned investment. There are 9 racecourses in Turkey, the 10th is held in Antalya. Those present are not contemporary racecourses. The world has been renewing itself in this regard for 10 years. The British destroyed and rebuilt Ascot. I attended a conference on this subject in America. People watch horse racing or not, but racetracks are their habitat. This is why countries invest.
– Horse racing license fees will be transferred to the Wealth Fund. What kind of change will it bring?
The Wealth Fund can make this activity more practical and develop the sector. There has been a debate about the system over the past 10 years.
– Can we say that a renewal process has been initiated?
He will have the opportunity to develop faster. If 2023 is targeted and a strategic plan is made, this sector will become tangible. Employment is provided for 200,000 people, it has a size of about 5 billion lira. These can be doubled quickly. In 2023, 300 thousand employees and 20 billion lire should be targeted.
3 RACECOURSES MUST BE REALIZED
– Should we invest for it? What should be the priorities?
A place where a race can be held can be done for 50-60 million lira, or with a grandstand for 160 million lira, but those numbers are what you want to do. It takes an investment of 750 million or 1.5 billion liras in Turkey. 3 racetracks should be built very quickly, the stands should be renewed, the fields should be renewed.
– Should Istanbul lead the way in this revival? Or should we choose other attractions?
Istanbul should be dealt with first. Because this problem mobilizes many sectors. Especially in the city, there is a quest to escape the stress of the city. We have been working for 2 years. It should be an area of Istanbul that can generate its own income. We work together as the Traditional Sports Federation and the Equestrian Federation. It is a city in its own right, including the infrastructure for riding, breeding, shows, training centers, places of training, as well as industry and shows. A minimum of 3,000 acres, a maximum of 20,000 acres. We are preparing the project. It will become a presentation in August.
– Where will this place be? Where in Istanbul fits this size?
There is the question of removing the military districts from the city. These areas are very convenient. These areas are green. So much nature is protected. This company makes its own investment. Training areas are constructed using the build-operate-transfer method. The system must be configured correctly.
6 THOUSAND HAVE A HORSE, 2 THOUSAND RUN
How many people have horses in Turkey? Some numbers?
There are 6,000 horse owners, there are people running 2,000 horses. Racehorse ownership has increased from the 1300s to the 2000s, but 25% of those 1300s are included in that number. They left this job in 2-3 years. At first they are tempted to just watch Gazi Run and then leave. Race premium income should not be considered alone. This business is not only made to make money, but it can also make a lot of money. In the UK, 50% of revenue from this sector is obtained within a week. The money is taken at the entrance of the door. We do not have.
THE COST OF A GOOD HORSE IS 40 TO 70 THOUSAND LIRA
The government has new plans and supports for livestock. The equine is not on the agenda?
Horseback riding is not supported. Livestock is taken care of. It has nothing to do with riding.
At what age does a horse start running? How much does raising a horse cost?
The arrival of an Arabian horse in the field begins with vaccination. There are 11 months of gestation, the Arabian horse begins to run at 4 years old. The English horse also begins to run at the age of 3 years. It is up to this age. It costs around 40-70,000 lira to raise a good horse.
THERE ARE 9 HIPODROMES IN TURKEY, 240 IN FRANCE
When we say racecourse, we say that races alone should not come to mind…
Yes definitely. Racetracks can also be used outside racing hours. In Ottoman times, there were jogging places in every province, now there are racetracks in 9 cities. This business should not be considered a casino. When every city has a racetrack, every city will have its own riders, its own horse owners. It will then be much easier to develop this activity. You have to invest in breeding and show a part.
WHO IS YASİN KADRİ EKİNCI?
Yasin Ekinci was born in 1949 in Diyarbakir. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Ankara Gazi University. He has worked as a partner and director at Ekinciler AŞ and LİMAK since 1972. He is one of the founders of the Istanbul Traffic Foundation, as well as the chairman of the Diyarbakir Chamber of Commerce, the founding administrator of the Foundation of Turkish education volunteers, honorary member of the Air Force Kartal Foundation. He is president of the Jockey Club of Turkey for the second time.