British marketing of bloodstock will step up a gear to try and challenge the Irish and French dominance in this area. The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA), which represents the interests of breeders in the United Kingdom, has shifted resources to focus more on the promotion and marketing of the British bloodstock.
An internal review of TBA, initiated by former chairman Philip Freedman and continued by the present chairman Kirsten Rausing, has set in motion the wheels of change.
"We are delighted to announce that significantly increased focus will be given to the promotion and marketing of the British-bred and -sold Thoroughbred, under the auspices of British Bloodstock Marketing (BBM),” Rausing said. "The organization will now have a wider role and remit to promote British racing and breeding internationally, with a new office in Newmarket, as well as a London base plus additional funding and staff. Newmarket is at the heart of the breeding Industry in Britain and is the ideal place to invite and welcome foreign visitors.
"These developments have been initiated by the TBA and British Horseracing Authority (BHA) who have joined forces to drive the venture forward, with the continued support of BBM’s members, Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, Federation of Bloodstock Agents, Tattersalls and Weatherbys."
Established in 2007 under the direction of the BHA with a small annual budget, the BBM is to receive £200,000 from TBA, of which £100,000 will be available finance. The remainder constitutes the salaries of new BBM executive chairman Gavin Pritchard-Gordon and his assistant, Desna Tatler, who will form the Newmarket part of the BBM while the existing London-based manager Anna Pinnington will continue in her role. Former trainer Pritchard-Gordon has relinquished his job as TBA executive director after 12 years.
The BHA’s latest contribution to the BBM was £34,000 and that amount is expected to treble. Meanwhile, Pritchard-Gordon is seeking agreement from a number of prominent Newmarket studs that would see them provide BBM with financial backing.
"I have been heavily involved in the promotion of British racing and our breeding industry over the years and, as chairman of British Bloodstock Marketing, look forward to devoting my attentions to this important area, which is pivotal to the global market within which we are moving,” Pritchard-Gordon said. "Increased funding is imperative to the future of British Bloodstock Marketing and I am very excited by this huge step forward. Racing and breeding go hand in hand and I am thrilled that more funds will be available to promote both aspects.”
The strategic move brings is seen as vital to the health of British Thoroughbred breeding in the face of the successful promotional efforts of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, which receives funding from the Irish government-backed subsidiary Horse Racing Ireland, and the French Racing & Breeding Committee with its strong breeders’ incentive program.
The TBA is responding to calls from members to take a more aggressive approach to global marketing and promotion of British bloodstock. Furthermore, as a charitable trust, the TBA must restructure in order to comply with new British government guidelines requiring charities to provide evidence that their actions bring public benefit.