b'A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMANOn behalf of the Foal Levyherd allows it. Maintaining the health Committee I would like to thankstatus of the herd only becomes an issue you for your contribution to the Foalfor many people when there is a health Levy Fund since its establishmentcrisis or a potential health crisis. The in 2000. In the intervening years thelong-term health status of the herd is fund has played an important role inmaintained through the regular dedicated developing the infrastructure of thedaily work of many people (of whom thoroughbred breeding sector. we only become aware of in times of crisis). A key player here of course is For breeders, love of the horse is ofthe Irish Equine Centre. This centre is course a given. However, breeders candedicated to the service of breeders only stay in business if they show aand the maintenance of the high health profit over time. While luck plays itsstatus of our equines. Hence it is the main part from time to time and cyclicalbeneficiary from the Foal Levy Fund. price changes remain the bane of the industry, there is no substitute for goodWhile the Irish Equine Centre supports planning, expertise, good bloodstockthe maintenance of our high equine and financial management. health status this is not an end in itself. It merely provides a springboard to trade Individual breeders can achieve a lotboth nationally and internationally. Our on their own. For sustained successindustry needs to exploit all available however, they are reliant on the generalmarkets. I know that breeders appreciate fortunes of the thoroughbred sector. Thethe leadership and support of Irish sector can thrive when it is based on firmThoroughbred Marketing (ITM) and the foundations. While the price achievedIrish Thoroughbred Breeders Association for a foal, a yearling or a store horse is(ITBA). ITM is totally dedicated to the the primary indicator of success for thepromotion and marketing of the Irish average breeder, this price can only bethoroughbred. It has a proven track record achieved where there is relatively freeand its services are now needed more movement of animals nationally andthan ever, especially in gaining access to good access to markets internationally.emerging markets.These are the foundations for success. Free movement of bloodstock can often be taken for granted. It is only possible however where the health status of the3'