Report Published on Future of British Thoroughbred Breeding


Mares and foals | Emma Berry

A report titled The future for British breeding and its potential impact on the British racing industry was published by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association on Tuesday. The report details recommendations to halt the potentially catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on British racing in the medium and long term.

Some of the suggestions in the report are: capitalising on Britain's international reputation for breeding and racing, ensuring a competitive and diverse racing programme and improving the viability of the British breeding industry. In addition, the report recommends united industry action on reforming the Levy-funding system, increasing racehorse ownership and considering initiatives that have worked in other countries.

The report states in part, “Whilst in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic the impact on racing will arise from its effect on owners, unable to support as many horses in training, and by the exodus of horses in training to France and Ireland, where prizemoney levels have been more resilient, the long-term damage is most likely to be caused by its impact on breeders.

“This could be exacerbated by changes in the ownership structure of three of the five major breeding operations, due to the loss of their founders in the early months of 2021. As a result, there will simply not be enough horses to sustain a racing programme in Britain of the scale the sport has grown used to.”

TBA Chairman Julian Richmond-Watson said, “Since the publication of the TBA Economic Impact Study of 2018, we have delivered a number of projects as part of our strategic plan to improve the environment for British breeders and the breed. It was great to see the Great British Bonus implemented in time for the return of racing in June last year to provide the much needed support to investors of British bloodstock.

“Throughout 2020 we actively monitored the situation, collecting data from various sources to assess the potential impacts on our industry. Today's report provides evidence that some of the trends first highlighted in the 2018 study have unfortunately been accelerated by the events of the last 12 months. Although the GBB scheme is showing early signs of success, it alone cannot resolve all of the industry's issues. The report provides recommendations for future recovery and we hope that our industry partners will support us for the long-term benefit of the sport, its horses and people.”

The TBA will be hosting a webinar to discuss the report in more detail on Thursday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. local time. To register for the event, please click here. For more information on the report, please visit

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