Foal production critical in Britain

The British Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association has identified “alarming and potentially serious issues” regarding the production of foals.

An economic impact study commissioned by the British TBA found that its breeding industry accounts for 281 million pounds (AUD 509 million) and 86,000 jobs.  The study indicates that many British breeders, smaller farms in particular, are often operating at a loss, which could jeopardize the future supply of horses for racing.

“This report has confirmed our worst fears,” TBA Chairman Richard Lancaster said.  “It has identified some alarming and potentially critical issues, the most serious of which is the supply base and production of foals, which are vital to fulfil the Great Britain racing fixtures list.

“Any further drop in foal numbers will result in a contraction of the program and the further marginalization of racing as a sporting product.

“The reality is we need a robust and sustainable supply base and this can only be achieved by all stakeholders working together.  Racing used to be the number one betting option and can ill afford any contraction in the fixture list and subsequent loss of revenue opportunities.”

“The TBA is committed to finding solutions to these concerns, not just for its members and the rural community – as important as those are – but for the 86,000 people who rely upon racing for their jobs.

“We must remember the simple phrase, ‘no breeders, no horse, no racing’.”

The TBA will launch a campaign to work with the British government, Horserace Betting Levy Board and the British Horseracing Authority to renew efforts to support small breeders.