Plus 10 bonus scheme closes for foals born this year ahead of 2021 termination
No news yet on whether replacement will be offered
Plus 10, the bonus scheme run jointly for owners and breeders between British and Irish racing, is to be wound down by 2021.
An announcement by the BHA stated that the reason for its closure is because British funding for the project is ending.
Plus 10 was launched with some fanfare five years ago, and currently includes more than 800 maiden, novice and conditions races in Britain and Ireland.
Entry is for progeny of British or Irish domiciled stallions whose connections have made payments into the scheme at foaling, yearling and owner registration stage. The £10,000 bonus to winners is divided up among those who paid at each forfeit stage, as well as five per cent going to the trainer, jockey and stable staff.
The scheme is now not going to be open for foals born this year, but all 2017-born horses will continue to compete for £10,000 bonuses in 2020.
However, a revised bonus structure is to come into effect on January 1 for all horses born in 2018. The total sum per race drops to £8,000/€10,000. The foal and yearling registrant will continue to receive £1,000/€1,250 per race but the owner share will be reduced by 25 per cent from £8,000/€10,000 to £6,000/€7,500, and the trainer, jockey and stable staff elements will reduce from £500/€625 to £375/€468.75.
However, the owner registration fee will be decreased slightly and there is the potential for a refund.
In response as to why the cuts have been made, an answer given on the Plus 10 website said: "When the scheme launched it did so anticipating it would cover 550 races per year. We now cover more than 800 races and so the financing of these races has been under pressure for a long time.
"With the scheme operating long term, minor adjustments could have been made over time to address this, such as the previous removal of multiple bonuses, but with the scheme now closing immediately we have regrettably had to make changes immediately to ensure we can continue to support the full race programme."
Whether a replacement is on the horizon remains to be seen, with the Plus 10 website reporting: "Any detail regarding future incentive schemes will be issued by the bodies working on these in due course."
The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association is known to have proposed a British-bred premium scheme, along the lines of the Plus 10 model to mirror what is available in France, although it will require approval for central funding.
Julian Richmond-Watson, the TBA chairman, said: "Since its launch the Plus 10 Scheme has seen a large number of owners, breeders and pinhookers benefiting from the great prizes on offer in over 800 races per year.
"However, the changing environment in which British racing and breeding operates means that industry funds need to be refocused to areas which are in most need of support.
"There are challenging decisions to be made, but the TBA has put forward proposals for a new scheme, which, if approved, would support these segments of the breed and race programme to ensure a more resilient and sustainable industry for the future."
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