(Edited press release)
Sellers of yearlings in Britain and Ireland are working to put together a bonus fund worth £2-million (approximately $3,269,400 in U.S. funds) for the connections of nominated horses that win maiden races next year for 2-year-olds. Each bonus will be worth £10,000 ($16,347), and it is hoped that up to 200 races will be supported. Some of the bonus money also will be made available to 3-year-olds.
A group of yearling vendors developed the idea in response to the economic downturn as a way to promote the yearling sales while also giving racehorse owners the chance to recoup a bigger proportion of their financial outlay. The bonus scheme will be sponsored by the Racing Post, which will act as media partner. It will be called the “Racing Post Yearling Bonus,” and any yearling entered in a British or Irish sale between Aug. 1 and Dec. 15 will be eligible to be registered.
In order to qualify their yearlings for a possible bonus payment, vendors need to pay £500 ($817), in two installments, into the Racing Post Yearling Bonus account at Weatherbys for each horse they wish to nominate. The first payment is due by July 15. Vendors of St. Leger yearlings have an earlier deadline of July 1. Owners need to pay a final registration fee of £250 ($409)/€290 ($408) by Dec.15.
The sales companies involved – Brightwells, DBS, Goresbridge, Goffs, Tattersalls, and Tattersalls Ireland -- will add a further 10% of the vendors’ contribution for each yearling that they sell.
If any horse is withdrawn or not sold at any sale, the vendor can maintain the horse in the scheme by paying the second vendor and the owner payments by Dec. 15.
The number of races that will offer a bonus payment will be determined by the available funds and will consist of a variety of maiden races over differing trips and at a range of racecourses through the whole of the flat season, in order to give all types of horses a bonus-winning opportunity.
All money received from vendors and owners will be paid out in winning bonuses.
Ninety percent of the funds will be allocated to races for 2-year-olds in the United Kingdom, Ireland and abroad, with 10% of the UK and Irish bonuses being paid out for 3-year-olds.
Philip Freedman, former chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, has been appointed chairman of the committee to oversee the operation of the scheme.
"We're extremely grateful to the various bodies which have helped financially to get this scheme where it is today,” he said. ”It shows an enormous amount of goodwill from all parties in England and Ireland, and great determination to help owners who will be buying later this year and vendors who will have yearlings to sell.”
Further details of the Racing Post Yearling Bonus are available on www.racingpost/yearlingbonus. Application forms will be available online shortly.