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His Highness The Aga Khan

 The Aga Khan: unhappy with the French breeders' association

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

 

Aga Khan in protest over French breeders' scheme

THE Aga Khan has resigned from the French breeders' association in protest at a lack of consultation to recent changes to  breeders' premiums and amid suggestions that a breakway group may be formed.

Asked about the possibility about a new breeders' group, the Aga's bloodstock manager Georges Rimaud said: "If the people who may yet resign want to get together, they might do that. But that is not a subject for today. The subject is that the measures adopted (to the premiums scheme) seem to us to be destructive to an economic model which is working.

"To change this system without proper economic argument seems to us therefore to be totally inappropriate. "

Rimaud alluded to further resignations from the Syndicate des Eleveurs, telling Jour De Galop: "I think that there are others apart from us who had the same reaction to the measures which passed the vote, which don’t coincide with their vision for breeding.

"If other people resign, I believe it will be because they don’t feel represented."

The source of the dispute is a change to the basic rate of breeders' premiums on the Flat to 10 per cent, which would rise to 15 per cent for "those horses that were conceived in France", replacing the existing clause of "born and raised" in France. The new rule will come into effect for foals born in 2014. It will replace the current premium level of 14 per cent for all French-breds.

Jour de Galop reported that the Wertheimer brothers, Haras d’Etereham, Haras du Mezeray and Haras de Saint-Pair were other studs unhappy with the changes.

Rimaud added: "The position I hold is solely mine and that of the concern that I represent. I am not the leader of any dissident group. I only represent the Aga Khan Studs, and we have the feeling that we are not being listened to within the body of the breeders’ association."

 

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