A new online learning platform, TB-Ed, was launched on Wednesday by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA).

TB-Ed will act as a single entry point to high-quality learning about all aspects of breeding racehorses, and aims to offer something for everyone, from the interested enthusiast to the experienced stud manager.

“TB-Ed will enable the TBA to provide up-to-date, relevant and expert knowledge to breeders who are committed to providing the highest standards of care for their horses,” said Caroline Turnbull, Education and Welfare Manager at the TBA. “The launch follows extensive user research and testing, which has helped us to shape the structure and content for breeders’ ongoing professional development. TB-Ed will also enable us to improve the accessibility and reach of training in the thoroughbred breeding industry, and will also be of interest to the wider equine community.”

The platform has launched with two custom-built courses created by industry experts in stud management and horse care.

Understanding Pedigrees is delivered by journalist and broadcaster Lydia Hislop and is designed for those looking to break into the Thoroughbred sector. It covers areas relating to pedigrees: historical context; how to read a tabulated pedigree; interpreting the sales catalogue; and understanding the Pattern and use of Black Type.

For a more experienced audience, Nutrition of the Broodmare aims to equip breeders with a solid understanding of the dietary needs of the broodmare. The course is delivered by independent nutritionist and consultant Catherine Rudenko, who has spent the past 17 years working in the Thoroughbred industry as a field-based nutritionist and feed formulator.

New courses and content will continue to be developed and added to TB-Ed, which will become the go-to place for a wide range of valuable content and resources, which users can access by creating their own account. This material currently includes a selection of webinars and talks on such diverse topics as the early life of a Thoroughbred racehorse, neonatal foal disorders, stallion management, early pregnancy loss in the mare, and many more.

TB-Ed has received significant financial support from the Racing Foundation, who co-funded the platform development and build with the TBA.

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, commented: “At the Racing Foundation our mission is to be a catalyst for improvement within the horse racing and Thoroughbred breeding industry. We are delighted to fund the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) online learning platform to facilitate continuous professional development for everyone in the breeding industry.

“By developing understanding of thoroughbred pedigrees and broodmare nutrition, the courses will benefit both people and horses, which are two of our key funding areas.

“In the course Understanding Pedigrees, the TBA has taken what has traditionally been a complex area reserved for industry experts and made it accessible to all. Equally, Nutrition of the Broodmare will inform even the most knowledgeable in the business.

“We’d like to congratulate the TBA on the launch of its online learning platform and we look forward to seeing it contribute to improving the Thoroughbred breeding industry.”

Recognising the long-term value in developing learning opportunities within the industry, Weatherbys has lent its support to the initiative, becoming a headline partner of the TB-Ed platform.

Russell Ferris, Chief Executive at Weatherbys said: “Weatherbys enjoys a close relationship with the TBA and we are delighted to support TB-Ed which will act as a great tool to educate and inform new and existing members of the Thoroughbred breeding community.

“Increasing access to training opportunities will ensure that the breeding industry can maintain the very highest standards in health, welfare and stud management. Breeders need easy access to the latest guidance on areas such as Weatherbys ePassports, the introduction of Equine Premises Numbers and other new initiatives and TB-Ed is the obvious location for that guidance.

“We look forward to working with the TBA over the coming months to build on the initial course material and include content in areas such as Thoroughbred genetics.”

There are four ways to access TB-Ed:

  1. General website users can browse the pay-as-you-go catalogue and view a sample webinar for free.
  2. You can sign up to TB-Ed (again, for free) to receive access to a limited selection of free resources. Courses cost from £50 and extra resources are priced accordingly.
  3. Join as a TBA Associate for £60 per year. This option gives you free access to all resources and discounts on courses.
  4. Existing and new TBA members receive free access to all resources and discounted courses as part of their membership package.

More information can be found at www.tb-ed.co.uk