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Breeders' Prizes vital
for small breeder

In response to John Berry's article of 16th March I would like to defend the HBLB Breeders' Prizes and outline their importance to the small commercial breeder.

The Breeders' Prizes are funded by the Horserace Betting and Levy Board to improve the quality of the British Thoroughbred racehorse and is now in it's 17th year. To qualify a horse must be the progeny of a British based sire and be foaled in Great Britain or have foaled while its dam was visiting a stallion outside Great Britain and returned before 1st October of the year of birth.

On the Flat the Prizes are determined on a sliding scale from Group 1 down to Class 5 races with 3 categories of distance (under 7f, 7f-11f & over11f), the payments range from £400 up to £10,000.

The National Hunt Breeders' Prizes have two tiers, the 1st tier receive 100% of the Breeders' Prize & the 2nd tier 40%, this 2nd tier was introduced in 2008 and rewards those British breeders who choose to use a stallion outside Great Britain, or who had set out to breed a dual purpose horse, whose 1st run had been on the Flat. The Prizes again operate on a sliding scale from Grade 1 down to Class 4 over Hurdles & in Steeplechases and Class 6 in N.H. Flat Races and the payments range from £750 up to £10,000.

Both on the Flat & in N.H. Racing there are enhanced prizes for Fillies & Mares when performing in races not restricted to Fillies & Mares.

As a small breeder, who is operating on a tight financial budget, I am not always able to use fashionable stallions on my mares but by careful selection I can choose a sire that I feel will produce a horse who may do better on the racecourse than it will in the sales ring. With the advent of these Breeders' Prizes I can therefore hope to get paid for producing a racehorse further down the road.

The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association does an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to support British Breeders and is acutely aware of the problems and consequences
of overproduction which has been encouraged by both the extended racing programme, which I feel is catering for too many moderate animals but the bookmakers seem to want, and the high prices we have seen at the sales over the last 15 years. Now that we are in recession I think we will see a major cutback with those mares who are not able to pay their way taken out of production.

I think that Mr Berry has got it wrong and that it is not the TBA or the HBLB Breeders' Prizes which have caused any overproduction but it is the bookmakers insatiable need for non stop action in their High Street shops and they are not concerned by the standard of horse taking part in these races so have no interest in improving the Thoroughbred breed.

Andrew Sansome
NH Breeders' Committee

 

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