Wed 29 Apr 2020
Racing has always been a sport with a charitable outlook, success on the track rarely confined to just those who enjoy the celebrations of the winners’ circle.
In 2018, the British EBF established official partnerships with both Racing to School and Racing Welfare. Although the fund is precluded from making financial charitable donations, these unique partnerships mean the BEBF can provide support in other ways.
Racing to School hosts educational race days for local school children across the country; twice a year with the feature race on the day donated by the British EBF. This enables the charity to have a flag-ship race in their name and with it comes with the advertising and promotional opportunities associated with race sponsorship. It is also a fantastic opportunity to involve the children further in the race day, selecting the best-turned-out horse in the race and presenting the trophy to the winning connections.
Children involved in the selection of the Best Turned Out horse at York 2019
Chief Executive, John Blake, explains how the partnership with the British EBF, helps Racing to School achieve its aims:
“Racecards nationwide nearly always feature a worthy cause or two, while racecourses routinely host fundraising events, allocate space to merchandise stalls, and endorse the bucket collections that racegoers have come to expect. The British EBF has kindly gifted auction prizes that have helped the charity Racing to School fund a record growth in the participation of young people with our programmes.
“Racing to School’s racecourse activity days are all about learning. The importance of weights, distances and unravelling the meaning and purpose of crucial data are all on the day’s syllabus, wrapped up in the warmth of an explanation of the sport’s heritage.
“The charity’s 40-strong school groups are taken on a journey as the race day builds and their feedback always points to watching races as the day’s highlight.”
“The child sees everything as a novelty; the child is always ‘drunk’. Nothing is more like what we call inspiration than the joy the child feels in drinking in shape and colour,” wrote Charles Baudelaire.
“Through the generous and on-going support of the EBF, we can bring our young people – most of whom are meeting the sport for the first time – even closer to the action. Their kind donation of race sponsorships and the opportunity to star in winners’ presentations puts the charity’s beneficiaries at the centre of the triumph and celebrations.
“For a small charity to have the profile of a race title can often lead to new conversations and valuable connections. For our young people, the VIP feeling such support provides, and the generous welcome given to them by this exciting and colourful sport is indelible.”
The British EBF is also committed to engaging with the local community and charities through participation in the Racing Together lead Community Day each year. The Jockey Club’s charity, Racing Welfare, is supported through two key events in the year: Mental Health Awareness Week and Racing Staff Week with races allocated to the charity during both weeks.
In 2013 the British EBF joined the Levy Board and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA), establishing a coordinated approach to funding veterinary research via a Small Grants Scheme. Each year, a selection of research projects is put forward for consideration for the three organisations to fund either jointly or independently. This collaboration is another example of how the British EBF has been increasing its racing industry engagement and has formed part of overall contributions in excess of £1.25million to equine veterinary research since the foundation of the EBF in 1983.
For more information about each of our charitable partners, please follow the links below:
Racing to School: http://www.racingtoschool.co.uk
Racing Welfare: https://racingwelfare.co.uk
Wed 22 Apr 2020
Recent veterinary research has been into alternative worming methods in young-stock
THE British European Breeders’ Fund (BEBF) is acknowledged as one of the most important contributors to racing’s prize money; with a total of £36,000,000 distributed over nearly 4 decades of existence. What may go unnoticed however, is our consistent support of veterinary research and, more recently, increased community engagement within racing. Over the next two weeks, we will be show-casing our work in both these areas.
To date, the British EBF has directly funded over £1,250,000 of equine veterinary research projects, in addition to our prize money allocations. More recently, the trustees have also lent regular support to both Racing Welfare and Racing to School (both official partners). Although the fund is precluded from making financial charitable donations, these unique partnerships mean the we can provide support in other ways.
Since 2000, the British EBF has wholly or partly funded veterinary research covering subjects as diverse as the Equine Genome Project and the identification of virulence factors associated with Rhodococcus. In recent years, the focus has been on research specifically relating to the breeding industry and has covered areas such as the effects of light and temperature on delayed ovulation and an extensive study in to potential alternatives to traditional parasite control in thoroughbred mares and young-stock.
Mindful of the challenges that modern Thoroughbred racing and breeding brings, in 2003, the trustees set up a contingency fund of £50,000 to finance research in the initial stages of an equine disease outbreak in GB. The fund is ring-fenced and organisations requiring immediate help to combat a disease outbreak in the thoroughbred population are eligible apply.
Historically, annual grants were awarded to the Animal Health Trust (AHT), helping purchase vital equipment such as an MRI scanner and funding investigations into various areas of equine viral research.
Latterly, a significant amount of BEBF funding was utilised by the Bacteriology Department of the AHT in a ground-breaking project into Strangles (Equine Distemper). Over 5 years from 2009, the department worked on a paper entitled “Breaking the Strangles Hold” with research leading to the decoding of the genome of the bacterium, Streptococcus Equi, that causes the disease. The team were able to develop an Elisa blood test to detect the presence of Strangles. Over 7,000 samples were tested in its first 6 years; vastly reducing the spread and incidence of the disease by providing a means of testing horses prior to movement between geographical sites, thereby reducing infection rates.
In 2013 the British EBF joined the Levy Board and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA), establishing a co-ordinated approach to funding veterinary research via a Small Grants Scheme. Each year, a selection of research projects is put forward for consideration for the organisations to fund either jointly or independently. This collaboration is an example of how the British EBF has been increasing its racing industry engagement.
From this combined approach, a three-year research project has been undertaken by Dr Laura Peachey at the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge. The study investigates host – parasite interactions in horses to inform potential alternative treatments of parasitic infections to reduce the current reliance on chemical treatment, for example traditional worm pastes and powders. This investigation was brought to a close in 2019 and work is underway to assess the available projects for 2020 and beyond.
Wed 15 Apr 2020
Horse Racing Ireland has today announced a record high 563 entries for the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes, the inaugural running of which is scheduled for Naas Racecourse on Bank Holiday Monday August 3, 2020.
The new contest, which is aimed at the progeny of sires with a median of no more than €75,000 at last year’s yearling sales, has attracted 345 Irish-based entries, 217 from Britain and one from America, a colt owned by Stonestreet Stables, now in the care of Wesley Ward. There are 289 colts and geldings, including Poetic Flare winner of the opening 2yo race of the season for Jim Bolger at Naas, and 274 fillies among those nominated.
In consultation with the race sponsors, Irish EBF and Ballyhane Stud, HRI has committed to examine increasing the €200,000 prize fund and to investigate the staging of a consolation race on the same day for those horses who do not make the final field in the feature race. This would give owners and trainers with entries an additional opportunity to avail of valuable prize money.
In the light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation the first forfeit stage will be deferred from April 22nd to an unconfirmed later date that will be announced when there is a clearer indication of the resumption of racing and dates for the breeze-up sales.
Jason Morris, HRI Director of Racing, said; “The level of initial entries for the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes has exceeded our expectations and demonstrates the popularity of this new concept. Once the picture becomes clearer over the timing and basis for a resumption of racing, we will evaluate the feasibility of increasing the prize money for the feature race and/or the creation of a consolation event. We can look forward to a very competitive and high quality contest in what will hopefully be better times.”
Joe Foley, owner of Ballyhane Stud, said; “I was delighted with the response to the race and a big thank you goes to all the owners and trainers who have entered two-year-olds, especially to the 81 Ballyhane Stud sired entries, who are in with a chance to win the €50,000 bonus if they win the race. It’s going to be a very exciting race at Naas and the huge prize money will be something to look forward to in these uncertain times”
John O’Connor, Chairman, Irish EBF, said; “The board are encouraged to see yet another Irish EBF initiative being so well received by the industry and look forward to this race becoming an established feature of the flat season for two-year-olds. Irish EBF are fully committed to continuing with race sponsorship when racing resumes and we will work closely with HRI when the time comes.”
To view the list of entries click here – RACE ENTRIES ON HRI RAS WEBSITE
For Further Information:
Nessa Joyce, Manager, Irish European Breeders’ Fund
Greenhills, Kill, Naas, Co Kildare, W91 FY62
M: +353 85 7590970, E: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter & Facebook: @IrishEBF