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Yearlings @ Goffs 

£2 million yearling bonus scheme planned

YEARLING vendors are aiming to put together a £2 million bonus fund for the connections of the winners of specifically nominated maiden races through 2010. Each bonus will be worth £10,000, and it is hoped that up to 200 races will gain support. The Racing Post is backing the initiative.

Like the breeze-up bonus scheme introduced by vendors of two-year-olds this year, the Racing Post Yearling Bonus aims to stimulate the entire cycle of the industry through bolstering prize-money available to horses purchased at auction.

Racing Post Yearling Bonus Logo

The incentive has been steered by David Redvers and Joe Foley, with former TBA chairman Philip Freedman taking on the role of Racing Post Yearling Bonus chairman, but it has come together through the commitment of a wide-ranging network of individuals and industry bodies determined to combat the decline, not only in the yearling market, but in the interlinked chain of events of which the sales are a vital part – from the level of interest in ownership to the number of horses in trainers' yards – during the economic downturn.

John Warren of Highclere Stud, who was instrumental in putting together the plan, said: "We hope this stimulus package will be atool for trainers and agents to encourage potential purchasers, as winning one of these maiden races goes a long way towards a year’s training fees.

"Significantly, this is something the industry has mustered together to do, to try to create an incentive no one else in racing has provided."

David Redvers

David Redvers

The bonus scheme will pay owners of fully nominated horses a £10,000 prize for winning one of a range of maiden races, including open, fillies', maiden auction and median auction contests during the Flat turf season. Ten per cent of the bonuses will be allocated to three-year-old maiden races to be run in 2011.

The scheme will also reward foreign buyers who export their horses, acting as a further incentive to the established and emerging markets that are increasingly vital to the health of the British and Irish commercial breeding industries.

The total fund of prize-money will be divided between Britain and Ireland and other countries, based on market share of the British and Irish yearling market measured since 2006.

Joe Foley

Joe Foley

Vendors' entry fees to make their yearlings eligible to the scheme will total £500 per horse. An additional owners' fee of £250 per horse will be required to maintain eligibility. The initial vendor entry of £250 is due by July 15, with the second £250 collected by sales companies from auction receipts.

The main sales companies have committed their support through financial contribution, collection of fees and promotion.

Further promotional support will come from the bloodstock marketing groups, British Bloodstock Marketing and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, while numerous other industry bodies, including the breeders' associations of Britain and Ireland, the Federation of Bloodstock Agents and the National Trainers' Federation are also involved in supporting the project. Weatherbys will provide banking services.

"This scheme follows closely in the footsteps of the successful breeze-up bonus and so must be applauded as an example of industry self-help, which can only encourage wider participation in the 2009 yearling sales," said Jimmy George, director of marketing at Tattersalls. "It’s wonderful it has attracted the support of the Racing Post."

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