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Downturn claims stud's owner-breeder clubs

THE NATIONAL STUD'S popular owner-breeder clubs have fallen victim to the economic downturn, with the stud's board taking thedecision not to launch new clubs when the current ones reach the end of their lifespan.

The clubs were billed as a way to broaden the general public's interest in thoroughbred breeding and racing, and to make bloodstock ownership accessible to more people.

The National Stud has run four clubs, all launched before the stud's transferral from the Levy Board to the Jockey Club in 2008. Two are still up and running: the Never Say Die club, due to come to the end of itsfive-year duration in December, and the Blakeney Club, which ends its cycle next year.

Never Say Die Club members were informed in a letter sent last week that "the stud board has now considered the prospect of a new club at length and reluctantly has decided not to launch one at the current time."

It goes on to say: "The decision has been greatly influenced by the currently depressed economic state of the bloodstock market.

"The stud would not be in a position to underwrite a new club to the extent that it has supported previous clubs. Members of a new club would therefore not have a defined amount of fees to pay, but would be called upon to support the club financially if events went badly. The board would not wish to encourage this type of investment at such a risky time.

"In addition, the initial concept of the breeders clubs was to educate members of the public in the bloodstock breeding world. Over the years we have been very pleased to see a number of small groups of members joining in private ventures.

"It is felt, therefore, that it was unlikely that members of these groups would wish to join another club. This would result in there potentially not being enough interested people to make a new club viable."

The Never Say Die club owns four mares - Blushing Queen, Jalissa, Least Said and Marciala. Jalissa is the dam of smart handicapper Folly Bridge. The mares will be dispersed at the Tattersalls December sale.

National Stud managing director Brian O'Rourke said that "the stud and the Jockey Club feel that the concept of breeding clubs is good and if economic circumstances become more buoyant, then a future club would not be ruled out."




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