And while the most successful continued to thrive, those beneath the glass ceiling found the going increasingly tough. The study painted a bleak picture of breeders swimming against a rising tide of high stud fees, spiralling costs and a shortage of owners for the 4, foals born in the UK. Without direct financial intervention, the study concluded, the current level of supply will not be maintained and the finances.
The impact study, which follows on from its predecessor four years ago, illustrates that the fortunes of British breeders have declined significantly in the interim. Reaction to the study has come in myriad ways. There is also the sense of shared pain among breeders who were all too aware of their own plight, but less aware of the financial predicament of others. There is solace in the fact they have been paddling the same canoe.
There is divergence in the way the study has been interpreted. For example, the premium scheme is seen by Colin Bryce, proprietor of Laundry Cottage Stud with his wife Melba, as an opportunity to realign his business plan. Data was. Bryce described the study as a potential game-changer.
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And what the impact study. It could change the direction of ownership; there could be more ownerbreeders. Those bailing out are not being replaced by a generation of younger breeders, while the traditional British owner-breeder is a virtually extinct species. Hodge has 25 mares. He also stands the odd stallion in a bid to. These payments come on top of prize-money. Our suggestion is that the RCA should be concerned about the long-term number of owners and horses in Britain.
He's never run a race, so why pay $16m for him?
Any commensurate drop in foal production would have ramifications further down the line for field sizes in races, which is the basis for media rights payments — a key source of prize-money — made by bookmakers to racecourses. The contrast with Ireland is particularly stark. Now we have a situation where almost every breeder wants to sell all their young stock. Each to their own, of course, but if I won the lottery I would race my own. I think that would make a big difference. David Hodge of Llety Stud is worried about attracting the next generation of breeders and the trend towards the selling of young stock.
This will remain in place until , when the registration process expires. Beyond that, only British-bred horses will qualify for bonus payments.
Maximum bonus payments will be made to British-bred horses which were conceived by a stallion standing in Britain. Horse Racing Ireland already. This is expected to usher in significant betting-shop closures, which would in turn impact on the volumes currently bet on British racing, and thus the levy yield.
But Mayoh is undeterred. I believe we must take action now. If, in one year, a small breeder with three or four mares gets only fillies, that could be them gone. Do they buy another mare, or sell the farm and split the. Yet she feels the problem blighting breeders is the shortage of owners below the top tier in Britain. She is mindful of the benefits of incentive schemes, particularly when the partial cost of funding that scheme increases breeding overheads, and when it can often feel as though small breeders are funding schemes to the.
Thank goodness for the very wealthy buyers at the top end, which is thriving, but the middle and bottom end is a struggle. And stud fees are crippling now. That tells me fees are far too. Having said that, the proposed bonuses are very significant. If there are two like-forlike animals, we hope people will buy British because they will have greater opportunity.
Once I was into the final four, I started to look at the opposition — like checking the race entries! When it comes down to three very good candidates you start to get excited. I would not accept criticism of my yearlings because, in my view, they are the best.
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On the evening, when you held the trophy and heard the applause, what was your overriding emotion and had you ever felt like that before? I was delighted to win the stud category. As much as anything I was pleased for the stud — you are putting the entire farm into the public domain. Andrew and Madeleine were on the phone to Simon [Marsh, General Manager] during the awards wanting to know what was happening.
Everyone on the shortlists was capable of winning the big prize. All the staff at Watership Down Stud felt the uplift — they all knew about the nomination — and of course they benefited financially from the success. Talking To Awards — has it changed your outlook in any way? You live in your own little bubble and people come inside it for only a few weeks a year when you go to the sales. When you joined Watership Down Stud in there was no infrastructure and no broodmares. How did you go about getting the operation up and running?
Basically, all we had was a view! In we had eventers here — Mark Todd was practising on the farm ahead of the Barcelona Olympics. The yard was here but the rest of it was a country park. At first, Madeleine and Andrew had more National Hunt horses. Andrew was getting more involved and asked what the end game was, because National Hunt horses were simply retired after racing.
So they decided they would go out and buy a select group of mares, with the idea of racing the fillies and selling the colts. The stud has been self-funding for the past. Credit to Michael Youngs, a fantastic pedigree man who has been behind the majority of the pedigrees that we have bought, including Darara, who was the real game-changer. The Lloyd-Webbers are passionate about their horses.
How involved are. Andrew and Madeleine are behind the whole thing. Madeleine is a businesswoman, very driven and so astute. We have only a few horses in training and the key thing with Andrew is that you do not want his. You would never send Andrew racing to watch his horse come home six lengths off the pace. Racing is a bug and Andrew loves it. His horses have taken him around the world and his colours are now famous. Andrew and Madeleine love producing top-class horses. However, the stud has to pay for itself and the horses sent to the sales help pay the bills.
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You are known to have been present for every foaling at the stud over the past 25 years. Is that the part of the job you enjoy the most — or do you get more satisfaction from watching the progeny race? We foal our own and of course have some outside clients, such as Bjorn Nielsen, who shares his mares between here and Kiltinan. Stradivarius was foaled at Kiltinan and came here for his sales prep. The majority of Watership horses are here, but if they go to an Irish stallion they will stay at Kiltinan.
Nominations are accepted from owners, trainers, breeders, colleagues, yard and stud managers. To complete a nomination form, visit studandstablestaffawards. Is there one horse that stands out for you, either as a youngster or on the racecourse? Yes, I would say two moments stand out on the track. For the dam that is phenomenal. That made Darara very special, and with her last two foals.
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