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Green shoots of recovery for the National Stud

THE Jockey Club has begun the process of reversing the financial losses of the National Stud, which it took over from the Levy Board in April 2008.

According to figures in the first set of consolidated accounts published by the Jockey Club this week, the stud's operating loss for the opening nine months under its new owner was £120,000, on turnover of £1.34 million.

In the last set of National Stud accounts published by the Levy Board, covering January 2006 to March 2007, the operating loss was more than £1.6m.

Jockey Club senior stewardJulian Richmond-Watson said: "The National Stud would have disappeared over the horizon had we not taken it on, and these figures are good evidence of what can be done, though we expect to carry a loss for another two or three years."

Simon Bazalgette

Simon Bazalgette: "savings made by use of group resources"

  PICTURE: Dan Abraham  

Jockey Club chief executive Simon Bazalgette, who joined the organisation last September,added: "The National Stud was a basket case when it was handed over to us, but through investment, long-term planning and an ability to call on a wide range of expertise, the Jockey Club has acquired an impressive record of successfully turning around businesses, and the stud is the latest entity to benefit."

Explaining the early progress towards balancing the books, Bazalgette said: "We have been able to move forward faster than was first thought, through a combinationof cost-cutting and stronger management focus."

He added: "The National Stud has long been a loss-making enterprise, but under the new management the initial indications are promising, with savings generated through the use of group resources and demand among breeders for the established sire Bahamian Bounty and his promising son Pastoral Pursuits contributing to income streams."

The Jockey Club has taken on the stud's remit for public access and educational services, but Bazalgette said these were wholly reliant "on the continuation of full-scale stud farming activities.
"First and foremost, the National Stud is a commercial thoroughbred breeding enterprise," he stressed.

 

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