Kirsten Rausing today outlined proposals to introduce the British Owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme (BOBIS) as part of her farewell speech as the outgoing Chairman of the TBA.
Speaking at the association’s AGM at Tattersalls in Newmarket, Rausing said: “BOBIS is a simple scheme designed to be transparent and easy for breeders and owners to understand its benefits. Importantly, it also recognises and rewards the contribution of owner/breeders and encourages the retention of fillies, with the aim that we see an increase of domestic broodmares over the next five years.”
With the sales-based Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme having recently been extended for a fourth term, Rausing suggested that BOBIS could be a successor to that self-help scheme, which has so far raised in excess of £7 million in bonuses attached to eligible maiden races.
“We are looking for the support of the Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme, who have called for a more comprehensive all-embracing scheme to follow in their footsteps, and the trustees of the European Breeders’ Fund, who have also indicated a need to reinvigorate British breeding.”
The Levy Board has granted tacit approval for the scheme with further talks due to be held in July, during which TBA Vice-Chairman Julian Richmond-Watson, who has devised the scheme, hopes it will be ratified.
He commented: “This is unashamedly a scheme to support owners of mares based in the UK. It’s a self-help scheme for every single Flat and National Hunt race and would be phased in over three years. We’d be looking to the Levy Board to match the funds raised by owners and breeders. By the time it’s up and running it should be generating and extra £5 million.”
Richmond-Watson outlined initial plans which would see breeders pay a voluntary foal registration fee of £150, with owners paying a further £250 when the horse is a two-year-old. The organisers, which include Paul Greeves, Grant Pritchard-Gordon and Louise Kemble, aim to increase the prize-money available to eligible horses in races by 25%, with 70% of the extra prize fund being awarded to the winning owner and 30% to the breeder.
Under the current proposals, to be eligible for registration a horse must carry a GB suffix but does not have to be by a British-based stallion.
Speaking at the AGM, Chris Harper of Whitsbury Manor Stud, signalled his approval of the scheme but asked if there was the potential for an extra bonus for the progeny of British sires.
He said: “We’re still not on a level playing field and it is much more expensive to stand stallions in England.”
TBA board member Julian Dollar, who runs Newsells Park Stud in Royston, said: “We wanted to look at ways we could reward breeders. This is a good idea but we do need to build a really significant pot.”