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ITBA launch lease facility for jumps-bred fillies

THE Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (ITBA) have launched a scheme facilitating free lease of jumps-bred fillies, making it easier for breeders to try their mares on the racecourse. The association acts as an intermediary between the filly's breeder (or owner) and potential leasees, who would then return her to be bred form - hopefully with a winning race record.

A listing of fillies offered are displayed on the ITBA website, with pedigree information and the current owner's contact details.

The scheme is similar to the initiative launched in Britainby the ROA and TBA nearly two years ago, and is being run by the ITBA's Kerry Ryan, who explained: "The breeders contact me by post or email, and it is up to them whether they provide pedigree information and a photo, or just the pedigree. Perspective leasees can view a selection of pedigrees of fillies available for free lease on the website.

"There is no contract with us involved, we're simply providing a means of putting breeders in touch with potential leasees. It's onlyin the initial stages so we'll see how it works out", says Ryan. "It will depend on the quality of fillies we have available and the number of interested potential owners we get. They are going to be leased free so people who may not otherwise be able to afford a horse could get into ownership this way."

ITBA manager Shane O'Dwyer said: "We're trying to encourage people not to breed from unproven, unraced mares, and this could give people the chance to try their mares before they breed from them without having to pay training fees."

With many Irish breeders finding it hard to sell filly stores in the post-boom years, along with the continued selectivity of the store market, the ITBA's scheme has particular relevance.

O'Dwyer continues: "It's about quality. It's difficult to sell fillies, so we will try to create a platform from which breeders can do something else with them if they don't sell."





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