The relative strengths of the breeding industries in the main European countries can be partially gauged by looking at the level of stallion contributions to the European Breeders' Fund in 2002.
The EBF consists of Britain, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Since 1997, Irish stallions have contributed more to the fund than British stallions.
In 2002, Ireland increased its lead over Britain and the other countries with an estimated record contribution of more than £1.1 million ($1.76 million), the ninth consecutive annual rise.
The British contribution will top £700,000 ($1.12 million), a bit less than the 2001 payment. France generated £300,000 ($480,000), which also is down a bit. Germany's stallions will provide just under £100,000 ($160,000), also a decrease, while Italy is due to contribute £60,000 ($96,000), its smallest amount ever. Switzerland will again put up just over £5,000 ($8,000).
Other main income sources for the EBF are eligibility payments from foals by Breeders' Cup-nominated stallions and the common fund between Breeders' Cup and the EBF, which amounted to more than $1.5 million in 2001.
The British section of the EBF put more than £580,000 ($929,000) into purses for 350 British flat races in 2002, with nearly £390,000 ($624,000) distributed in EBF breeders' awards.