“The British Horseracing Board has unveiled the results of an investigation into the number of horses permanently exported abroad to race. The research was undertaken following concerns that an increasing number of highly-rated horses were being lost abroad in order to capitalise upon the significantly higher prize money available elsewhere. Animals exported for breeding purposes were excluded from the study so as to establish an accurate figure of how many horses were being exported with the intention of pursuing a racing career.
In 1999, a total of 191 horses rated 80 or above were exported aboard to race, and this figure represents 16.8% of those appearing on the official rating list during last season. Over half of those exported (53.4%) went to the USA, where total prize money reached approximately $1 billion. A further 43 were sent to the UAE, although the practice of over-wintering horses in Dubai is likely to mean that a number of those could reasonably be expected to return to Britain at some stage.
The BHB’s Race Planning Committee is aware that the loss of quality horses has already had a negative effect on the competitiveness of British Racing. Rated Stakes were introduced to encourage horses in this category and the Listed Race Programme has been enhanced with the same objective. But, for as long as rewards are demonstrably higher outside Great Britain this export trade will continue.
For further information, please contact: Paul Greeves on 020 7343 3306