New chapter in history of the National Stud as transfer to The Jockey Club completed

18th April 2008

It was announced today that the transfer of the National Stud from the Government to National Stud Limited, a subsidiary of The Jockey Club has been completed. Under the terms of the transfer, The Jockey Club have agreed to continue to provide the National Stud’s unique educational and training schemes for stud staff, as well as public access to the stud, for a minimum of five years.

With the transfer confirmed, The Jockey Club unveiled the composition of the Board of National Stud Limited. Joining Chairman, Christopher Spence, are the Senior Steward, Julian Richmond-Watson, Chris Harper, Peter Stanley and Christopher Foster.

Christopher Spence, Chairman of the National Stud, said: "Our thanks go to all those at the Levy Board, at DCMS and in particular the team at the National Stud who have played a part in facilitating the transfer. The Jockey Club is very proud to have been given the opportunity to take on 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."

"I am delighted that, in addition to the Senior Steward and Christopher Foster, both Chris Harper and Peter Stanley have agreed to join the Board. Their experience of running successful commercial operations at Whitsbury Manor Stud and New England Stud respectively will no doubt prove to be of great value.

Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said: "The transfer marks the start of a new chapter in the history of the National Stud and we are very much looking forward to working with the breeding industry to ensure that the Stud delivers benefits to all those involved in the breeding and racing of the Thoroughbred."

The Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, added: "I am pleased that The Jockey Club has agreed to take on ownership of the National Stud. This means first class training in stud management will continue and, importantly, that the facility will be managed by an organisation dedicated to the improvement of horseracing. This move is also part of our wider policy of ending our direct involvement in the administration and financing of horseracing."

Robert Hughes, Chairman of the Levy Board, said: "I am very pleased that the Levy Board has been able to hand over responsibility for the National Stud to such an appropriate successor as The Jockey Club. I am sure that the Stud will now go from strength to strength."

Notes for Editors:

The National Stud was established in 1916.

In March 1963, the Secretary of State for the Home Department directed the newly established Levy Board to run the Stud as a breeding centre, owning stallions and mares. At this time the decision was made to build a brand new, purpose-designed stud on 500 acres of land at Newmarket obtained from The Jockey Club for a peppercorn rent. The area of land forms part of the Jockey Club Estates property portfolio.

The National Stud’s facilities include accommodation for eight stallions and up to 200 mares in nine separate yards. Its range of educational programmes of stud staff are unique in Great Britain and provided free of charge to the Thoroughbred breeding industry.

The National Stud will be operated through a subsidiary of The Jockey Club, National Stud Limited. The initial Board will be: Christopher Spence, Chairman
Julian Richmond-Watson
Chris Harper
The Hon Peter Stanley
Christopher Foster, FCA

Currently, the primary roles of the Stud are: a) To provide a comprehensive range of services to the British Thoroughbred breeding industry of the highest quality, to internationally accepted standards at affordable prices. These include stallion services, seasonal and permanent boarding, foaling, sales preparation and quarantine for export.

b) To provide a first-rate residential education and training facility for young people entering the Thoroughbred breeding industry or seeking higher qualifications within it, offering a range of courses to meet stated industry needs; and

c) To be an effective and accessible shop window for the industry to the racing and wider general public, raising the levels of interest, awareness and knowledge.