100th Annual General Meeting

July 12, 2017 |

A commitment to protect and improve the Thoroughbred breed was the focus of Chairman Julian Richmond-Watson’s address at the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s 100th Annual General Meeting.

The Chairman acknowledged that the industry is currently facing a number of changes and underlined the importance of the TBA’s work in guaranteeing long term sustainability.

The levy replacement and the implications of Brexit remain key topics of interest for the TBA and efforts will be focussed on achieving the best possible outcomes for breeders. The TBA is represented on the Members Committee which is shaping the future of the levy replacement, and has created and leads an industry Brexit steering group.

The Chairman said: “What we do for breeders is make sure your voice is heard when decisions that affect you are being taken and lobby on your behalf.”

In the last twelve months the TBA has strived to deliver the highest quality in terms of provision of education, training and veterinary research. In addition to the Codes of Practice, the TBA distributed guidance for mare owners in late 2016 to maintain highest standards of animal husbandry and welfare. TBA funded veterinary projects also included important research into early pregnancy loss and equine parasitic worms.

An emphasis on quality has also been reflected in the promotion and testing of the breed where activity has included; stakeholder collaborations on race programming and sponsorships, the expansion of initiatives such as Plus 10 and NHMOPS, and the continued promotion of British bloodstock success through GBRI.

The Chairman closed his address by adding that; “All of this ensures that you can run your breeding operation with minimum interference with the best veterinary and breeding advice and that there is a level playing field with regulation and welfare internationally.

“It is no accident that the British Thoroughbred is respected and sought after worldwide. Our horses are bred healthily to the highest standards and tested with the best. The TBA’s work and support allows you and the Thoroughbred to thrive. So, I urge every breeder to become a member of the TBA and to support us through the sales levy which is so important to our veterinary and education work and helps sustain our ability to act on behalf of breeders.”

The message of protecting and improving the Thoroughbred was continued by two guest speakers who delivered presentations on the critical importance of diversity within breed.

Brian Kavanagh, Chairman of the European Pattern Committee, presented his keynote speech of the AGM entitled; ‘Ensuring the quality of a diverse racing programme with particular emphasis on proposals to protect the staying horse. The European Pattern Committee’s assessment of the current environment and its plans to resolve key programme issues.’

 Racing Post Bloodstock Editor Chris McGrath also spoke of the importance of diversity within the breed in his keynote presentation on; Speed, Stamina and Surfaces: a plea for diversity’.

The speeches re-enforced the TBA’s view that a diverse breed population will create a resilient and sustainable industry for both breeders and racing.