Thoroughbred breeding industry projects receive over half a million in funds from the Racing Foundation
Friday, 5 July 2019
Key projects to improve the long term sustainability of the thoroughbred breeding industry - through its people and horses - have received a commitment of over half a million pounds in funds over the next five years from the Racing Foundation through a new strategic partnership with the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.
£570,000 has been ring fenced for projects which will be delivered as part of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s (TBA), strategic plan over the next five years.
These will help support activities meeting the TBA’s charitable objectives including; advancing the development of employees within the British breeding industry, shaping national and international policy affecting the industry, and supporting breeders in their care of horses and employees.
Staff recruitment and retention was highlighted in the TBA’s 2018 Economic Impact Study as an area of concern for many employers in the sector. The new projects will focus on attracting more people to careers in the thoroughbred breeding industry, whilst simultaneously removing barriers to those wishing to gain the necessary skills and experience to access roles.
A new training and qualification pathway, devised by the TBA and National Stud, will be rolled out to bring more people into the industry and provide a framework for those seeking professional development. The pathway will incorporate the already successful Entry to Stud Employment course as part of Stage 1, supplemented by two further stages which include monitoring and assessment in the workplace.
Funds will also support a digital learning platform to ensure that breeders and their teams are able to access online courses and educational materials at their own convenience. The geographical spread of stud farms and breeding season schedules having previously posed as barriers to providing training opportunities to existing employees.
Equine welfare will also be addressed through a new project with Weatherbys General Stud Book which will develop breeding industry data and increase research capability to improve traceability, insight and longer term planning.
New data systems will help ensure the aspects of the thoroughbred’s lifecycle that are the responsibility of breeders are managed and align with principles of the industry equine welfare strategy and future potential changes in legislative requirements.
TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard said: “Encouraging personal development and equine health and welfare are top priorities within the TBA’s strategy and these funds will help deliver vitally important projects over the next five years. The thoroughbred breeding industry is a fantastic sector in which to work, and we hope to support and develop those choosing this career pathway. This work will also complement our equine health and welfare projects to ensure the best standards of practice across the industry.
“The Racing Foundation’s funding gives us greater surety in income and enables us to progress now a number of vital projects for the benefit of breeders to help address the issues identified by last year’s Economic Impact Study. Further research into specific problem areas will help shape future TBA initiatives that will work to safeguard the long term future health of the British breeding industry and diversity of the breed.
“We are incredibly thankful for the Racing Foundation’s trustees and executive for their support for these industry projects.”
Racing Foundation Chief Executive Rob Hezel said: “The Racing Foundation Trustees were delighted to support the compelling case presented to them by the TBA to support some of the key projects included in their strategy. The funding aims to address particular issues relevant to the breeding industry right now as well as assisting the TBA in building a more sustainable future for themselves.
“The funding is in line with our stakeholders expectations that Foundation funds be used more strategically to support industry strategies. By working closely with the TBA we believe we have challenged, collaborated and supported them allowing us to invest in their work with both people and horses in line our own strategic ambitions. We believe the grant will be a catalyst and provide funding for improvement.”
The National Stud’s Training Director, Tabbi Smith said: “We are extremely grateful to the TBA and the Racing Foundation for this continued support which will enable the National Stud to expand on its delivery of the TBA’s Entry to Stud Employment programme, and we look forward to the new intake of students arriving later on this year.’