Ascot Racecourse recently announced two new initiatives to mark the significant contribution that breeders make to the success of Royal Ascot.
The five-day meet starts June 14 and for the first time, all breeders of winning horses will receive a memento of their achievement, Ascot chief executive Guy Henderson said. Breeders will receive Royal Ascot-branded Strawberry Dishes, designed by the racecourse's official trophy and silverware suppliers, Garrard.
"As a further illustration of our recognition of the breeding industry and the importance of encouraging interest and participation from the next generation, we have partnered with the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's new initiative, The Thoroughbred Club, for members aged 16-30," Henderson said in a release. "We are offering half-price admission opportunities throughout the year for members, including to the Queen Anne Enclosure on the Tuesday and Wednesday of Royal Ascot."
Louise Kemble, chief executive of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, said: "The TBA welcomes any initiative that recognizes the vital role of breeders in British racing. The introduction of mementoes for successful breeders at the Royal meeting is a gesture which we hope will be adopted by other major festivals.
"Ascot's partnership with The Thoroughbred Club is another significant step in providing access and opportunities for young people in the industry. We are most grateful to Ascot for supporting these key initiatives."
David Redvers, who runs Tweenhills Farm and Stud and is bloodstock manager to Qatar Bloodstock, also warmly welcomed the initiative, and said: "Ascot should be applauded for recognizing the importance and the role of the breeder. To be responsible for producing the winner of a race at Royal Ascot is a notable feat for any breeder. Furthermore, the diversity of races at the Royal meeting from 2-year-old races over sprint trips to long distance races for older horses gives all types of breeder a chance to succeed at the world's premier race meeting.
"To receive such a lovely memento for breeding a Royal Ascot winner is fantastic and a great way to remember the achievement. We very much look forward to earning the right to receive one."