UK Racing’s bloodstock rights strengthened by new BIF code of practice

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that a new ‘Bloodstock Industry Code of Practice’ will be incorporated into the rules of UK racing as of 16 August.

The Code has been developed by the newly established Bloodstock Industry Forum (BIF), which was tasked with updating the rules and practices on the buying and selling of horse bloodstock rights – last reviewed in 2009.

As part of the BHA’s independent review of Bloodstock and Racehorses rights led by Justin Felice (OBE), recommendations made by racehorse owners were evaluated by the BIF.

Published in December 2019, the BHA’s report recommended that a ‘Bloodstock Forum’ be established between racing authorities and sales houses to enhance cooperation and oversight on the sale of bloodstock rights.

The report called for tighter regulations to be introduced, with sales houses required to disclose binding agreements with the BHA and Bloodstock Forum to track sales and help information sharing. 

The BIF was formed to establish a new set of applicable duties that must be ensured by sales agents selling bloodstock rights within the UK.

Further duties will see the forum establish a new complaints and disciplinary procedure, with agent infringements being reported to the BHA, and major offences being brought to the criminal prosecution. 

The BIF will be chaired by Tattersalls’ Marketing Director, Jimmy George, who will represent a membership formed by – Breeze Up Consignors Association, Federation of Bloodstock Agents, Goffs, Horse Racing Ireland, Irish Thoroughbred Association , National Trainers Federation, Racehorse Owners Association and Thoroughbred Breeders Association. 

BHA Chief Executive, Julie Harrington said: “The BHA welcomes the publication of the Code of Practice, and the collaborative industry approach that has been taken to achieve this milestone. 

“The Code of Practice has been approved by the BHA’s Board and will be incorporated into the Rules of Racing. It will represent a significant step forwards in terms of enhancing trust in the process of buying and selling bloodstock in Britain and Ireland, and was one of the core recommendations of the Review of buying and selling practices of bloodstock and racehorses within British racing which was commissioned by the Board of the BHA.

“It is essential if we are to attract and retain owners in the sport that anyone involved in the purchase of bloodstock can have confidence that they are being treated fairly, and the Code will help further enhance British racing’s reputation on this front. My thanks go to Jimmy George and all members of the Bloodstock Integrity Forum for their efforts and determination to reach this point, and we will continue to work with members of the BIF to make further improvements in this area.”

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