In 1996 the international journalist Carlo Biffi had the idea of organising a Championship for the trot drivers of the Mediterranean and Black Sea area countries. The series was organized in Rome at Tor di Valle racecourse for 6 years and further extended also to a gallop championship that took place in Naples racecourse. Trot drivers, jockeys and horseracing authorities of 14 nations (Algeria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Ukraine) participated in this first Mediterranean Championship in Italy, having so the opportunity of knowing one each other and exchanging experiences.
The Mediterranean Jockeys Championship and the Mediterranean Trot Championship are annual international series of legs organized in the various nations facing the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in which a jockey and a driver representing each nation are allowed to participate.
The athletes of twenty-one nations competed on the tracks of the Mediterranean racecourses in this event till now: Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan as invited countries.
Since 2009 the Mediterranean Horseracing Union became the organizing body of the Mediterranean Championship, giving impulse to the event, that offers now a series touching ports and cities of all the geographic area in an ideal journey around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Legs of the series have been organized in 11 countries: Algeria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Tunisia. The cities of Algiers, Zemmouri and Tiaret (Algeria), Osijek and Sinj (Croatia), Cagnes-sur-Mer (France), Athens (Greece), Rome, Naples, Florence, Syracuse and Palermo (Italy), Marsa (Malta), Casablanca (Morocco), Moscow, Krasnodar, Ramerskoye, Ufa, Uljanovsk and Voronezh (Russia), Belgrade and Pozarevac (Serbia), Maribor (Slovenia) and Tunis (Tunisia), were the seats of the trot and gallop championship races.
On the social and cultural fields, the Mediterranean Championship works to involve the public authorities of the organising countries, because this event, besides promoting the co-operation among the horseracing authorities and professionals, has the power to create sinergy and cultural exchanges also in the national communities. The Mediterranean Championship is an example of what south and east Europe is able to do, by activating dialogue and co-operation between people different for language and citizenship, but joined by history, traditions and a millenary civilization. An example of how it is possible to change the Mediterranean Sea, from a sea of borders into a sea of contacts and co-operation between the countries through sport and culture exchanges.
Each country organizes its Championship legs according to the guidelines about the competitions quality and fairness established by the series regulations, but is free to organize the races according to its national regulations, constituting so a tour in which every participant can learn from the way of “doing horseracing” of his colleagues.
The race meetings reserved to the Mediterranean Championship legs are occasions to open the racecourses to the communities and to promote the highlights and traditions of the hosting country, through exhibitions, shows and meetings about the Mediterranean and Black Sea traditions, tourism and culture,
This event has in fact the goal, through the organization of races in the participating countries, to celebrate the historical and cultural international community, to promote friendly relationships among the people and to develop their co-operation, starting from horseracing in order to further work also in the fields of culture, history, tourism and economics.
Syracuse opened the route, promoting in 2006 the round table "Mediterranean Championship: an opportunity for the international co-operation among countries and horseracing authorities in the Mediterranean".
Cagnes-sur-Mer racecourse further contributed to the event development, organising on March 8th 2008 a General Assembly of all the countries participating in the championship with the purpose of creating an association joining the two championships for jockeys and drivers, with a wide statute and called "Mediterranean Horseracing Union". The meeting was further enriched by the prestigious trot race “Grand Criterium de Vitesse des Casinos de Montecarlo” with the participation of the best sprinters in the world.
On May 8th 2008 Morocco continued the work for the Association constitution, organising a new Assembly in Casablanca, where the Mediterranean Horseracing Union statute was approved. Libya, for the first time, also participated in a MHU meeting.
Saturday December 13th 2008 at the Galatea Room of the Port of Naples Expo Center, the horseracing delegations of 12 countries– Algeria, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Tunisia and Turkey – met to sign the statute of the Mediterranean Horseracing Union. The spokesmen for sport of Naples city and district, Alfredo Ponticelli and Maria Falbo, welcomed the delegates.
12 Countries of the Mediterranean and Black Sea area signed the Association constitution in front of the public notary Dr. Nicola Capuano: Algeria (Fayçal Cherik, races organization manager of Société des Courses Hippiques et du Pari Mutuel), Croatia (Zoran Gaspar President of Croatian Gallop Association and of Croatian Trotting Association), Italy (Filiberto Cecchi, Vice President of Unire and Concetto Mazzarella, President of Marconi Italia SpA Ippodromo del Mediterraneo), Malta (Matthew Brincat, President of the Malta Racing Club), Morocco (Ahmed Slimani, Managing director of the Pari Mutuel Urbain of the Société Royale d’Encouragement du Cheval), Portugal (Ricardo Carvalho President of Liga Portuguesa de Criadores e Proprietarios de Cavalos de Corrida), Russia (Nikolay Isakov, President of the Commonwealth Trotting Association of Russia and Eugenie Kappushev, member of the Jockey Club of Russia), Serbia (Aleksander Djordjevic, President of the Serbian Trotting Association and representative of the Serbian Equestrian Association), Slovenia (Ciril Smrkolj, President of Zveza Drustev Kasaske Centrale Slovenije), Tunisia (Dhaou Maiz, President and managing director of Société des Courses Hippiques), Turkey (Sinan Kalpakcioglu, General Manager of the Jockey Club of Turkey), Ukraine (Volodymyr Kushtal, Vice President of the Ukrainian Association Owners Trotters Horses).
Concetto Mazzarella, President of Mediterraneo racecourse in Syracuse, Italy, was elected first Chairman of the Mediterranean Horseracing Union. Tamara Papiccio (Italy) and Danièle Bernardi Lin (France) were appointed, respectively, general secretary and technical advisor of the association.
In 2013 the Mediterranean Horseracing Union reached a very ambitious target: to organize the first race in the Euro Mediterranean area in which the countries will no more be represented only by their horsemen, since by their best horses and jockeys. At Cagnes-sur-Mer racecourse in France the first Mediterranean Championship of Arab Thoroughbreds, the horse who is the ancestor of all racehorses in the world, took place. Two races in which the best horses of the Arab thoroughbreds breeding of the Mediterranean Horseracing Union member countries are invited to compete. A race that is an exceptional occasion of comparing the horseracing cultures of the participating countries, starting from their most ancient but still lively roots. A race that immediately had a great success of public and of wagering. Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia participated in the first edition of this event, with their horses and jockeys.In 2014 the Mediterranean Champion for Arab Thoroughbreds was organized in Italy, at Chilivani racecourse in Sardinia with the participation of Algerian, French and Italian horses, while in 2015 the event took place in Tunis, organized by Société des Courses de Tunisie,with the presence of Tunisian and Libyan representatives..