Over £10 million in bonuses have now been paid out by the Great British Bonus (GBB) scheme, the organisation announced on Friday.
Started three years previously, the scheme incentivises and rewards the breeding, buying and racing of British-bred fillies by awarding bonuses of up to £20,000 per race.
GBB Operations Executive, Charlie Newton said, “We are thrilled to have reached this record milestone. The scheme arrived at a time when it was desperately needed. Not only were we feeling the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, but the breeding industry had been witnessing a sustained decline in numbers and profitability. In a little under three years, we have put £10 million back in the pockets of breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, and stable staff.
“That's an amazing achievement in itself, but we've also seen an increase in the demand for and the value of British-bred fillies in the sales ring. Fillies and mares now have a lucrative career path, which will, in turn, see the strengthening of our broodmare bands.”
Bonuses have been paid out to 549 fillies and mares in 722 races to date, in both the Flat and National Hunt jurisdictions. Flat fillies and mares have earned 497 bonuses, worth over £7.1 million, while their jumping counterparts have been awarded 225 bonuses worth £2.9 million. Approximately 85% of the bonuses go to fillies by British-based stallions. This behaviour is encouraged by the scheme's two levels of eligibility: 100% GBB fillies are by stallions based in Britain at the time of covering and can win the larger bonuses of £20,000; 50% GBB fillies are by stallions based outside Britain and they can win bonuses of up to £10,000.
The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's Deputy Chairman, Philip Newton, said, “We couldn't be more pleased and proud at how GBB has been performing. We knew it could be a success, but the results have surpassed expectations. The industry has really taken a hold of it and made it their own.
“We recently commissioned PwC to carry out an Economic Impact Study to discover what impact GBB was having on the industry. Overall, in the three years since GBB launched, the price of British-bred fillies has increased by 16.6%–that breaks down as a 30.7% uplift in the foal price, 14.8% of the yearling price, and a 16.5% increase for National Hunt stores. These are welcome advances for a breeding industry that remains under extreme economic pressure.”
Created and operated by the TBA, the scheme receives around 30% of its income via registration fees, but the bulk of its financial support comes from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB).
Newton added, “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who has supported us in making this milestone possible. Not least, the HBLB, which generously funds GBB to the tune of £3.5 million a year.”
Alan Delmonte, of the HBLB, said, “Since GBB was launched in June 2020, HBLB is delighted to have provided it with funding of £7.6 million. It is particularly pleasing to see the 16% increase in the value of GBB-eligible fillies since the scheme started. Funding for GBB is among significant investments that HBLB has made in recent years to enhance British breeding and also to provide incentives for the racing of fillies and mares.”