Leo Powell appointed Independent Chair of Bloodstock Industry Forum

03 May 2024 BHA Features Integrity


Leo Powell, honoured this year at the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association annual awards for his lifetime contribution to the industry, has been appointed the new Independent Chairman of the Bloodstock Industry Forum (‘BIF’) with immediate effect.

BIF was formed in 2019 in response to the British Horseracing Authority Review of the Buying and Selling of Bloodstock and Racehorses, and subsequently published the Bloodstock Industry Code of Practice which covers the conduct of all participants when trading bloodstock in the UK and Ireland, both at public auction and privately.

Leo has a long record of service to the industry, firstly with Ballsbridge Sales (now Tattersalls Ireland), then at Goffs, and latterly as Editor of The Irish Field for 20 years, all of which means that he has an intricate knowledge of bloodstock, racing and sales.

Commenting on his appointment, Leo Powell said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as the Independent Chair of BIF. This is an area in which I have always taken a keen interest, and recognise its importance in giving confidence to all participants in the industry.”

Since the formation of BIF, the Chairmanship has been held by Jimmy George of Tattersalls who oversaw the publication of the Code, followed by Goffs’ Henry Beeby.

The latter said: “An independent Chair was one of a number of key aspirations for BIF once we had published the Code of Practice in August 2021, and Leo is ideally qualified for this position as he is truly independent of all other BIF members. He has an undeniably thorough knowledge and understanding of the bloodstock industry, having worked for both major auction houses and then commented upon and analysed the selling of horses as well as a wide range of bloodstock and racing issues in his role at The Irish Field.

“BIF is lucky to have secured his services, whilst the Committee would like to acknowledge the work of Jimmy who coordinated the introduction of the Code.”


For further information contact:

Leo Powell

M: +353 87 255 8587

E: [email protected]



The Code of Practice is published in all Tattersalls and Goffs catalogues, linking to the Conditions of Sale and so making it applicable to all participants at every sale held in UK and Ireland. A key component of the Code, which distinguishes it from all predecessors, is the provision of free, confidential legal advice to any potential complainant, a service which has been utilised on a number of occasions since the Code’s inception, with several referrals to the BHA.

BIF was set up by representatives of the BHA, Breeze-Up Consignors Association, Federation of Bloodstock Agents, Goffs, Horse Racing Ireland, IHRB, National Trainers Federation, Racehorse Owners Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Associations of Britain and Ireland, and Tattersalls. A Committee meets every three months to review the Code, which is subject to change as it evolves and with the benefit of experience, and to discuss feedback and ways in which confidence in the sales process in Ireland and the UK can be maintained and improved.

Terms of Reference were drawn up and are also continually reviewed and updated when required to ensure that BIF and the Code remain current and relevant, another aspect of former Codes that was felt to fall short of best practice. A further development last year was the appointment of independent legal advisors to BIF, with Gareth Jones of Addleshaw Goddard taking on the role and attending all BIF meetings to advise as required. One of Gareth’s objectives is to introduce further governance enhancements in an effort to continue to improve the effectiveness of BIF and ensure the Code remains perpetually relevant.

BIF has also introduced an ‘E-Learning’ integrity module to assist in the education of buyers and sellers of bloodstock, and is a requirement of membership of the FBA as well as being part of the trainer licencing process. To date it has been undertaken by some 200 individuals and is referenced on the BHA, Goffs and Tattersalls websites.