Thursday 14 February 2013
Foal Registration Fee Increase
The objectives of the TBA, the representative body of thoroughbred breeders in South Africa, include “to promote and encourage the breeding … of Thoroughbred horses…and generally to foster its interests …” and “to safeguard and advance the common interests of Thoroughbred breeders”.
The Equine Research Centre (ERC) provides essential support to the greater horseracing industry via the annual foal ID/DNA programme, drug testing trials for the NHA, expert advice and emergency response systems for outbreaks of equine disease like Equine Influenza, CEM, Herpes Virus etc. The ERC gives critical support to State Veterinary Services, and also safeguards the industry’s research and development capabilities, especially in light of recent developments in diagnostic testing and vaccine for AHS. In addition, its work is crucial to achieve, improve and maintain the internationalization of the South African thoroughbred industry. Racing South Africa is the primary funding mechanism for the ERC, whereby the operators, owners and breeders each contribute a third. The breeders portion of the funding of Racing South Africa increased from R1 million to R1.6 million in 2011-12, and has increased again to R1.8 million in the current year.
Up until a few years ago, the TBA had been able to fund its commitment to Racing South Africa and the ERC from its proceeds from conducting auctions, but in recent years the TBA has had to reach into its accumulated cash reserves and clearly this is not sustainable. In addition it is inequitable that the burden of this funding should be borne entirely by those breeders who sell at the TBA sales. Breeders who do not sell but race themselves and breeders who sell through competing sales companies get the benefit of this expenditure (eg export protocol development, equine research, AHS controls) without bearing their fair burden.
After due deliberation, the TBA Council concluded that it was approriate and equitable to re-introduce a fee to be included in the foal registration fee. Council proposed that the NHA increase the foal registration fee by R500 and that the NHA pay that portion directly to Racing South Africa. At the NHA Board meeting of 7 February 2012, the Board agreed to implement the increase with respect from the 2012 foal crop and accordingly set the foal registration fee at R1,250.
It is with regret that we have to increase this expense for breeders in these tough economic times, but it is undoubtedly necessary that breeders continue to play their vital and cohesive role in securing the future of the Equine Research Centre.