EFTBA Holds Successful Autumn Meeting 2018 EFTBA Autumn Meeting Takes Place in Newmarket - 27th November 2018

EFTBA, the body representing all European thoroughbred breeders' associations held its autumn meeting at The Jockey Club on Tuesday, 27th November 2018. Chaired by Mr Joe Hernon, Castlehyde Stud thirteen countries were represented at the meeting.

BREXIT has taken centre stage throughout the year and even though there appears to be a breakthrough there are still a number of imponderables and we must ensure the best interest of our industry is catered for. The BREXIT team in the 3 countries (Ireland, UK and France) has prepared a complementary document explaining all our health procedures in breeding and racing, which fully demonstrates and guarantees the high health status of our horses. Key to the movement of horses post BREXIT is the adherence to the Code of Practice and the meeting formally adopted the codes as being truly international.

Chairman of the European Horse Network Mr Mark Wentein briefed delegates on their activities and advised there are 7 million equidae, used for a variety of purposes throughout Europe, providing employment to more than 800,000 and contributes in excess of €100B per annum. EFTBA's involvement in this organisation is paramount and through you representatives has made great inroads in assisting with their plans.

Lobbying is a key area in EFTBA's activities and the Chairman announced that he will lead a delegation to Brussels in the New Year to brief MEP's and officials on the importance of the thoroughbred industry and ensure that no restrictions are placed on the availability of crucial veterinary medicines, movement of horses and the many other issues, which have the potential to negatively impinge on our industry. 

Among the items discussed during the meeting was th importance of the use of regumate for breeding stock and any efforts to remove this product from the market should be challenged. All country reports highlighted the problems with staffing, the importance of maintaining our high standards of horse welfare, the future of the whip and the ongoing change in many countries  with an enormous gulf for demand between the top 15% of young stock and the rest of the foal crop.

Commenting on the meeting, EFTBA Chairman Joe Hernon said "With BREXIT, top of the agenda it is encouraging to see unstinting support from all member countries on the need to ensure the there is no change to the status quo post BREXIT. The decision that the Codes of Practice were endorsed as international codes is testament to that support. Over the next few months we will intensify our lobbying efforts in all areas that affect our industry.  At the top echelon of the market sales are very good albeit to a limited number of buyers. However there are concerns about the state of the market, which national organisations need to address going forward.