The Horserace Betting Levy Board has agreed in principle a proposal put forward by the Jockey Club to secure the future of the National Stud.
The terms are still to be finalised and are subject to Government approval but the intention is to implement the new arrangements by the end of October. To assist progress towards completion, the Levy Board has appointed its Deputy Chairman, Chris Deuters, to the National Stud Board with immediate effect.
This development marks the culmination of a strategic review by the National Stud, the Wavertree Charitable Trust and the Levy Board, and subsequent discussions between the Levy Board and the Jockey Club.
The Wavertree Trust was incorporated in 2005 with the objective of taking over and developing the National Stud's education, training and public access activities as a registered charity. The Jockey Club's proposal would enable this hand over, as well as guaranteeing the continued provision of the education programmes and policy of public access for a minimum of five years.
Levy Board Chairman, Robert Hughes, said today: "I am very pleased that we have reached agreement in principle on how to secure the future of the National Stud. The Levy Board's intended disengagement from the Stud marks another important step towards the return to our core function of Levy collection and distribution.
"It is wholly appropriate that the Jockey Club, with its strong commitment to the heritage of Racing and Breeding, should be a key player in the Stud's future."
Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, commented: "We were delighted to be asked to participate in the process of developing a proposal to safeguard the long term future of the National Stud. Preserving the heritage of British Thoroughbred breeding, as well as the pursuit of excellence through the provision of education and training services, sit very well alongside the Club's overall aims and objectives.
"Following the Levy Board's endorsement of the proposed arrangements, our first priority will be to talk with the Stud's staff and stakeholders and consult with key parties such as the TBA and major studs as we continue to consider how the National Stud can best serve the Thoroughbred Breeding Industry under these new arrangements."
Andrew Parrish, Chairman of the National Stud Board and the Wavertree Charitable Trust, added: "I am very pleased that the Levy Board and the Jockey Club have reached this in-principle agreement, following our constructive discussions with both parties. The decision is entirely consistent with the recommendations made to the Levy Board by the Board of The National Stud and the Trustees of The Wavertree Charitable Trust, in the light of our strategic review. The proposed arrangements offer the Stud a secure and viable basis going forward and, in particular, guarantee the provision of our vital education services, which remains our central purpose, for the foreseeable future."
Notes for Editors:
The Levy Board took on responsibility for operating the Stud on behalf of the Crown in 1963. It is located on 500 acres of land at Newmarket which is leased from Jockey Club Estates.
The Wavertree Charitable Trust was established for the purpose of taking over and developing the educational activities currently managed by the National Stud, but independent from the Levy Board and thus able to raise finance from other sources through its charitable status. The educational programmes are unique in Great Britain and provided free of charge to the Thoroughbred breeding industry.