Welfare Statement

The health and wellbeing of thoroughbreds at all stages of the breeding life cycle (from conception to end of life care), is a core strategic objective of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) and a primary consideration of all horse owners and stud managers.  

The TBA is represented on the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders’ Associations (EFTBA) and the International Thoroughbred Breeders’ Federation (ITBF) veterinary committees; the HBLB International Codes of Practice sub-committee; the Tattersalls Annual Liaison Committee and the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) board.  The TBA’s CEO is a Director of the British Horse Council (BHC), which acts as the UK equestrian community’s voice to government; and a TBA Trustee is also the current Thoroughbred Group representative on the Horse Welfare Board (HWB).  The TBA works in close alignment with stakeholder groups across British horseracing, aiming to enhance the transparency and traceability of the industry and is a pro-active contributor to the broader industry welfare strategy.  This level of collaboration of equine expertise ensures a cohesive approach to the care of thoroughbreds across the sector and optimises the knowledge and skills available to all participants. 

The TBA is committed to providing high quality educational resources (including those on the TBA's bespoke e-learning platform: TB-Ed) and events for members on a broad range of horse care and stud management subject matter; as well as communicating any updates to guidance, policies, codes of practice and rules of racing that will support breeders in achieving the highest standards of equine health and welfare on their stud farms.  Additionally, the TBA supports Equine Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) services; invests significant sums in equine veterinary research (£250,000 already committed from 2023 - 2026) aimed at improving insight and capabilities which will benefit the welfare of the horse; circulates the HBLB International Codes of Practice; and offers a post mortem subsidy following pregnancy loss to encourage screening for Equine Herpesvirus (EHV 1&4). 

All breeders should follow the principles outlined in the 'Equine Welfare Guidelines for the Thoroughbred Breeding Sector'; comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and any other relevant legislation; and endeavour to demonstrate best practice with all horses under their management, including adherence with the HBLB International Codes of Practice. 

The industry provides funding and services for throughbreds facing an uncertain future (including those who are no longer actively engaged in the racing and breeding sectors), to ensure they can recieve a high level of care, even if their owner expereicnes a change in circumstances that may impact on their ability to meet the needs of their horses. The aim is that no throughbred should be found in a vunerable position. 

Diversity and Inclusion

The TBA believes in an inclusive workplace which is safe and respectful, where diversity is celebrated and which acknowledges that every person is unique. The TBA should be an organisation where everyone feels welcomed and valued.  

In May 2021, the TBA was proud to be one of the first organisations to sign up to racing’s Diversity & Inclusion Industry Commitment. Since then, the TBA has created and commenced delivery of a diversity and inclusion strategy to improve standards on both an organisational and industry level.   

This strategy includes:  

  • Increased access to careers and training through the flagship Entry To Stud Employment Programme 
  • D&I training for all TBA employees and trustees  
  • Changes to the TBA’s recruitment and employment processes to ensure they are as inclusive and reach as wide an audience as possible 
  • Improved marketing activities to raise awareness of opportunities amongst minority communities  
  • A commitment to conducting equality monitoring of our staff, Board and wider organisation in order to understand more about our diversity 
  • The introduction of a more affordable subscription level with discounts for TBA services
  • The delivery of educational bursaries to assist career development.

TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard said: “We are proud to be a signatory of the industry’s Diversity & Inclusion Commitment. I am pleased to say that at the TBA, the importance of diversity and inclusion is reflected in our work, and we are delivering more opportunities for people to get involved in the breeding industry. There is still more work to do, but we are committed to progressing this vitally important area both within the TBA and our wider community.” 

TBA Trustee and Diversity & Inclusion Champion Kate Sigsworth: “Our industry is made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds. At the TBA we are committed to ensuring everyone can fulfil their potential and showcase their talents in a culture which celebrates diversity and within which they feel welcome and valued.”  

Further information, guidance and links are available on the TBA’s Diversity and Inclusion page here.