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Letter from the Bonus scheme chairman

Philip Freedman

Chairman Philip Freedman

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker 

Dear Consignor,

After the successful introduction of the Breeze-Up Bonus scheme at the two-year-old sales this spring, a number of yearling vendors, in conjunction with the sales companies and the thoroughbred breeders' associations of both Britain and Ireland, have been working together to introduce a broadly similar yearling bonus scheme to which all yearlings sold this autumn will be eligible.

Many of you will already be aware of this initiative from the coverage which the scheme has already received in the press, together with consultation documents sent out by the breeders' associations.

We are now delighted to be able to announce that the Racing Post Yearling Bonus will be formally launched tomorrow, and the scheme's sponsor, the Racing Post, will be giving extensive coverage in the newspaper on June 11.

The company, through its daily newspaper and on its website, will continue to promote the scheme throughout the year, most immediately to vendors and consignors, whose support is needed if the scheme is to achieve the targets set for it, and then to prospective purchasers throughout the sales season.

This year's yearling sales will take place in a challenging environment, and this scheme is one way to help meet those challenges. The details were developed after extensive discussions with both vendors, in order to discover how we as an industry can bestsupport our product, and with purchasers, to find out how we could make racehorse purchase and ownership a more attractive proposition.

Star Rover

 Star Rover was sold at the Tattersalls Ireland September Sale for €17,000

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

The basic premise is that a £10,000 bonus, paid to the winning connections of a number of selected two-year-old maidens, with 10 per cent of the bonuses being allocated to three-year-old maiden races to be run in 2011, will go a long way towards paying for that horse's training fees.

For many buyers, that is the cost which stops them from buying again. The money in the fund will be raised from both a vendor contribution of £500 and an owner contribution of £250.

In order to help reduce any cash flow difficulties, vendors' contributions will consist of two parts – £250 before and £250 after the sale, while owners are also to contribute by mid-December.

Various owner groups have been canvassed and they are more than willing to contribute a further £250 for every horse purchased. This enthusiasm reveals just how highly owners value the scheme and improved prize-money.

The evidence from the spring's breeze-up sales revealed that the bonus scheme succeeded in providing a floor to the market. Yes, we are asking for another£500 contribution per yearling, but if it will help to ensure that your horse is sold,  or if you get just one more bid, then the contribution will more than pay for itself. 

The number of races we can support in 2010 and beyond, and thus the overall impact the scheme has on the demand for yearlings, will depend on the number of yearlings that are registered. The deadline for this is July 15 (July 1 for St Leger yearlings), so I would urge you to sign up now and to help yourself achieve what every breeder and consignor wants and needs this autumn – the highest possible price for their yearling.

Yours faithfully,

Philip Freedman
Chairman, Racing Post Yearling Bonus committee






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