TBA says breeders need to be confident when selling at auction
The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association has made clear it decries "any illegal practices" within the bloodstock sales environment.
The TBA was one of the parties responsible for the industry code of practice that will be reconsidered as part of the BHA's bloodstock review.
In a statement, the representative body for British breeders said: "The TBA believes strongly that in the buying and selling of thoroughbreds the sales code of practice and transparency should be paramount.
"The law of agency is very clear and we decry any illegal practices that take place at bloodstock sales or elsewhere.
"Breeders should be confident the horses they bring to the sales will be sold on their merit, and new or existing owners should be confident in appointing an agent or trainer to advise them that they will be acting solely on their behalf. Any activities or rumours that undermine that confidence are damaging to the integrity and image of breeding and racing.
"We believe that if or when there is evidence of wrongdoing this should be brought to the attention of the authorities as per the code of practice and investigated thoroughly."
TBA board member Nicholas Jones, owner of Coln Valley Stud, added: "I welcome a review by the BHA. All market participants need to have confidence in the rules and procedures and, in particular, in the transparency of the market. The bloodstock sales market should stand comparison with other global marketplaces."
One industry insider at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale believes the industry is not beset by problems, but that buyers need to be sensible at all times.
"Thousands of horses are sold in Europe every year for hundreds of millions of pounds," said the insider, who asked not to be named.
"There are no signs of major organisations and buyers avoiding the public sales. There can't be much wrong because if all the big players like Godolphin, Coolmore, Cheveley Park and Juddmonte had concerns, surely that would keep them away from the ring?
"Like in any business, whether it is the stock market or automobiles or the art business, you surround yourself with people you know and trust and always heed the maxim 'caveat emptor' – let the buyer beware."