Edited press release
Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association chairman Kirsten Rausing has announced that the TBA and Racehorse Owners’ Association had jointly bought the monthly racing and bloodstock magazine Pacemaker and that it will merge with the joint TBA/ROA publication Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder.
Speaking at the TBA’s annual general meeting at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in London Jan. 6, Rausing said the deal was finalized just before Christmas. She said the two magazineswill combined under the title of Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder incorporating Pacemaker from the March edition, with Richard Griffiths continuing as editor.
"Pacemaker has been the pre-eminent racing and bloodstock magazine here and in Ireland for over 40 years. Its reputation and history will strengthen our title and help us to produce an improved publication, not only for the associations’ respective members, but for the whole bloodstock industry.
"To some, this may seem a rather odd time for the TBA and the ROA to be making such an investment but, in fact, the bloodstock market’s recent contraction has made this an increasingly logical move," Rausing continued. "With the economic climate as it is, there is no longer room in this market for two publications of a similar type. Now, it is our belief that one strong racing and bloodstock magazine, published by two responsible racing bodies, will have a long-term future. I stress ‘long-term’ because publishing a specialist magazine during the next year or two is clearly going to tough and the support of the bloodstock industry will be crucial to our making this work."
Rausing, who predicted an economic downturn in her first TBA chairman’s speech 12 months ago, told breeders that the recession was of fundamental concern but might also present investment opportunities for breeders.
"I am not going to urge British breeders to cull all their mares, and I am not going to paint a scenario whereby this great industry is lost for future generations, but I am going to urge breeders to take a careful look at their business, and remind the racing authorities that the health of this industry is crucial to the sport of horseracing, for which we all care passionately," she added. "Whilst a severe correction will be necessary for some, others should not overlook the opportunities this recession can provide in terms of upgrading their stock, and to share the advice of a wise older statesman that ‘in uncertain times keep your savings in a commodity that you know and understand.' The TBA is the one body that has the interests of the horse at its heart, and for that reason alone we must continue to encourage British breeders to do what they do best, but be mindful of the need to take a careful look at the quality of their mares."
Rausing also announced that Brightwells, which holds sales at Ascot and Cheltenham, will join Tattersalls and Doncaster Bloodstock Sales this year in collecting the sales levy that provides funding to the TBA. Additionally the TBA is now going to be informed which vendors have paid the levy.
"We were delighted to be able to persuade Brightwells to join Tattersalls and DBS in collecting sales levy on behalf of the Association with effect from the 2009 sales, and for the first time we will have the identities of those vendors who have paid the levy from the 2008 sales onwards," continued Rausing. "This will help to support the Association’s funding as the effects of this downturn are seen in the TBA’s accounts, and to address the need to identify and hold individual discussions with some breeders who have previously not contributed to the levy and may welcome the opportunity to discuss their reservations."
Rausing also spoke of the TBA’s initiative in partnership with the ROA to provide a free lease to owners by vendors of unsold yearlings, with 41 horses already signed up since the scheme was announced.
"The ROA and TBA have recently launched the Free Lease Exchange, to provide a platform for putting breeders in touch with owners for the purposes of securing homes for unsold flat yearlings from the 2008 sales, and with the intention of extending this to National Hunt stores and older horses, in due course," she said.