The Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme is to be extended into a fourth year, to feature this autumn’s yearlings – but major changes are being discussed for the future.
Amid concerns that some vendors might feel that it might have run its course, the RPYB committee will explore whether there are options to merge or strike up a joint venture with other breeders’ incentives such as the European Breeders’ Fund.
RPYB chairman John Osborne stressed that such talks were in their infancy, saying: “We felt strongly that it was important that the yearling bonus should be extended into a fourth year, albeit with certain reservations and a desire for movement and change.”
The decision to operate a fourth scheme was made with strong support and backing from the Racing Post.
Osborne added: “So far the scheme has raised over £8 million in the first three years and has offered a major boost for owners, who have shown their support by re-investing at the subsequent yearling sales – the fundamental aim of the bonus.
“With foal crops falling and some vendors perhaps deciding that certain yearlings don’t warrant being entered or need to be entered, the bonus pool for the fourth scheme may be down on our peak of £2.7 million, but we were determined not to walk away from this, especially after all the support we have received from vendors in the past.
“There may be those who feel that the scheme has run its course and no longer serves it purpose. We respect that opinion, but we don’t agree with it – in the short term at least.”
Writing in the Racing Post earlier this month, Osborne had trailed the likelihood of a fourth scheme by stating: “Some would argue that it would be very hard to stand outside the stable door at the sales with an unbonused horse. But others may say to themselves ‘we have tried that, it doesn’t work for us’. If enough people feel that way then the scheme would have to reconsider its position.
“But it would be a shame to walk away from it, having built it into the position where it is working smoothly and putting so much money into owners’ pockets.”
The fourth scheme is open to yearlings of 2012 that are entered in a UK or Irish sale from August 1 to December 31. A change has been made for breeze-up entries in that next year the final payment of £350 will be charged to the purchaser rather than the vendor.
26 April 2012