HBLB Supports Rare Native Equine Breeds

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HBLB Supports Rare Native Equine Breeds as Part of Commitment to Improving Breeds of Horse

Non-thoroughbred rare breed societies will benefit from funding from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) in 2021, with grants awarded in accordance with HBLB’s statutory objective for “the improvement of breeds of horses”.

As well as the significant investment made in the interests of the thoroughbred, for many decades HBLB has sought to protect and enhance specified British rare breeds via grants to societies to support their pure breeding programmes.

The range of breed societies assisted has varied from time to time, and HBLB now takes advice from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) on which native British breeds are most in need of help.  The HBLB Board received a presentation from the RBST at its May meeting on current initiatives and activities.

The HBLB grants are used to support breed improvement programmes.  This can include premium payments to encourage pure breeding of quality bloodlines, genetic analysis, gene banking, DNA testing, registration subsidy, licensing fees, stallion fertility testing, artificial insemination schemes, maintenance of the breed stud book, support for breed shows and show judge training.  The individual societies are required to add 20% from their own resources to fund their programmes.

In addition, HBLB backs the annual Rare Breeds Heritage Show, now being managed by the RBST.  Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Show, which was to have been the eighth, had to be cancelled.  The RBST is working to organize an event in 2021, taking into account the continuing limitations.

Below are the 12 breeds supported in 2021/22 and the relevant RBST categorisation.  The total allocation is £165,500.

RBST – Priority

  • Cleveland Bay Horse £21,500
  • Dales Pony Society  £9,000
  • Dartmoor Pony Society £9,000
  • Eriskay Pony Society  £9,000
  • Exmoor Pony Society  £9,000
  • Hackney Horse Society £18,000
  • Suffolk Horse Society £25,000

 

RBST – At Risk

  • Clydesdale Horse Society £11,000
  • Fell Pony Society £7,000
  • Highland Pony Society £7,000
  • Shire Horse Society   £30,000
  • New Forest Pony Society £5,000

 

Rare Breeds of the Year Show £5,000

HBLB Grants Manager Annie Dodd said:

Our native British horse and pony breeds are integral to this country’s landscape and history.  Alongside its essential support for the breeding of the racing Thoroughbred, HBLB is also committed to helping the most vulnerable native breeds survive and thrive in the modern day. Breeds such as the Dales pony or the Suffolk Punch demonstrate the same qualities and aptitude for sport, work and leisure riding as the Thoroughbred, and deserve the same high regard. They are part of the great British equine scene and the Board wants to help preserve them in the future. “

RBST Chief Executive Christopher Price said:

RBST is a conservation charity dedicated to the promotion and conservation of our native livestock and equines.  RBST was founded in 1973 and, since then, no UK-native breed has been lost. Our work includes cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, ponies, goats and poultry. We produce the RBST Watchlist, an annual assessment of the conservation status of all our native breeds, taking account of both the numbers and the extent of inbreeding.

Our conservation strategy is based on the Watchlist’s findings: firstly wherever possible we promote the use of our native breeds, secondly lobbying for government support where appropriate and thirdly running conducting specific conversation projects where necessary.

We are enormously grateful for the support HBLB gives us and the wider native breed sector, which will make a real difference to our work and help ensure a thriving future for our rare native breeds.”

For further information, please contact HBLB Grants Manager Annie Dodd on 07785 390922

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