The Thoroughbred Foal Levy was introduced in March 2000. It is a statutory levy on all thoroughbred foals registered in Ireland. Under Law, all thoroughbred foals born in Ireland, requiring registration, must be registered in Ireland.
The scheme is administered by Horse Racing Ireland, the State body with responsibility for the thoroughbred sector. The scheme's purpose is to provide a secure financial footing for the breeding industry and its essential support structures. All funds collected are re-invested in the breeding industry.
The Foal Levy Committee advises and makes recommendations to the Board of Horse Racing Ireland, following consultation with breeders, in relation to a programme of re-investment of the funds raised by the Thoroughbred Foal Levy.
The Statutory scheme requires the owner of each thoroughbred foal born in Ireland, requiring registration, to register in the General Stud Book through the offices of Weatherbys Ireland GSB Limited and pay at registration time a levy to Horse Racing Ireland. The actual levy payable is related to the generally applicable (advertised) nomination fee of the foal's sire and varies between €35 (where the nomination fee is less than €1,001) and €650 (where the nomination fee is in excess of €30,001). Special deals do not apply in calculating the levy payable.
All funds raised by the levy are allocated to an investment programme for the benefit of the thoroughbred sector.
• Irish Equine Centre
• Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association
• Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Limited
• Treo Eile
• Irish Horse Welfare Trust
The Irish Equine Centre provides specialised facilities for the diagnosis, management and prevention of diseases in horses and for research and education in this area. The services provided underpin the health status of the thoroughbred and, thereby, protect Ireland's disease-free status and ensure the continued improvement of the breed.
The ITBA is the representative body of breeders in Ireland. The association's aims are to promote and protect the interests of breeders of thoroughbred bloodstock. Its activities include representation of Irish breeders at national and international level, fostering initiatives to assist smaller breeders, having an input into cataloging standards, and, in conjunction with the Equine Centre, hosting educational forums on equine health and hygiene.
In conjunction with the Manager and office staff, regional committees organise educational courses, seminars and tours, trade fairs, open days and social events which act as forums for breeders to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest. The latest in breeding and veterinary best practice is also disseminated to breeders through the circulation of the Codes of Practice, the ITBA Diary and Handbook and newsletters and circulars at regular intervals. The ITBA has a full time veterinary consultant who monitors both national and international veterinary information on behalf of members and represents the ITBA at the annual International Collating Centre meetings. The ITBA showcases annually the achievements of the Irish breeding industry through its National Breeding and Racing Awards Dinner and regional awards ceremonies. The ITBA has a comprehensive national educational and training programme to ensure breeders can continue to acquire and update the skills necessary to adapt to a changing work and business environment.
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing is a subsidiary of Horse Racing Ireland and is a non-trading, not-for-profit organisation. It aims to be the first point of contact for overseas people seeking information on any aspect of the Irish bloodstock industry. The ITM team travels extensively, on targeted market visits, promoting Ireland as the premier country in which to breed, buy and race thoroughbreds. ITM also operates the Inward Buyer Programme, by which it makes a financial contribution towards the travel expenses of all overseas bloodstock agents, trainers and buyers attending Irish bloodstock sales. Visit www.itm.ie for more.
The Irish Horse Welfare Trust is a voluntary organisation set up for the protection of Equines in Ireland, which includes Rescue, Rehabilitation and re-homing of horses and ponies.
IHWT has initiated, for the first time in Ireland, a programme for the re-training for re-homing of ex-racehorses. The Racehorse Re-training Programme is part-funded and supported by the Foal Levy Scheme, Horse Racing Ireland, and the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association.
Foreign breeders whose mares foal while boarding in Ireland are required by law to pay the Foal Levy. Horse Racing Ireland has resolved to ensure that the highest standards possible prevail in the Irish breeding sector and that the services provided by the beneficiaries of the Foal Levy scheme are available to all breeders.
The beneficiaries of this support provide a range of services to all breeders, domestic and foreign, whose foals are born in Ireland. The success of the Irish Thoroughbred Foal Levy in funding the support structures of the industry in an equitable way is carefully monitored.
All Thoroughbred foals born in Ireland requiring registration must be registered through the offices of Weatherbys Ireland GSB Limited in Naas, Co. Kildare, and the appropriate Foal Levy due to Horse Racing Ireland must be paid at application time to register the foal.