In very welcome news for the Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry, Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) have, following discussions, released the below statement regarding breeders and the rules of racing.

The easing of unnecessary regulation on breeders and the formation of a representative body goes a long way to easing the concerns of breeders. The TBA board and CEO Tom Reilly are to be congratulated for their work on this critical issue.

TBV’s representatives on the TBA Board – James O’Brien, Adam Sangster, Adam Tims – have played significant roles in making sure the views of Victorian breeders have been heard at a national level.


Statement from Thoroughbred Breeders Australia President, Basil Nolan

I am writing to you about the issue with Racing Australia and our concerns about their attempts to bring breeders under all the Rules of Racing.

I’m pleased to inform you that Racing Australia, in consultation with Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, has redrafted the Rules of Racing that relate to breeders and foal owners.

As a result, stewards will only have access to studs and farms to test for anabolic androgenic steroids in young horses, prohibited substances in racehorses and to monitor the health and welfare of horses.

Racing Australia has also agreed to form a new body called the Australian Racing & Breeding Committee, with representatives of both racing and breeding, which will meet at least four times a year to discuss industry issues.

I believe the creation of this committee is an important step forward and I sincerely hope Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia can work consultatively and co-operatively through this new board in the future.

Racing Australia has clarified that a representative of a foal owner (such as a farm manager) can return the Foal Ownership Declaration when they have written approval to act as an agent for that owner. This clarification will provide comfort to many farms and studs, especially those with large numbers of clients or those which complete paperwork on behalf of clients.

The redrafted Rules of Racing provide clarity to the breeding industry about the scope of Racing Australia’s intentions and this is welcomed by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.

In a press release sent out by Racing Australia this afternoon, its chairman, John Messara, said: “It is pleasing that the matter has finally been resolved with the TBA.”

I echo those sentiments.

I have included, below, the redrafted Rule of Racing 14b:

(f) It is a condition precedent to any application or lodgement under this rule that the Manager, or his or her Authorised Agent, lodging the Foal Ownership Declaration or making application undertakes to be bound by these Rules and, upon action being taken in compliance with this rule (including a syndicate as applicable), the Eligible Horse and its owners thereby become subject to, and agree to be bound by, the Rules for the following purposes only (as a consequence of, and relating to, the lodgement of the Foal Ownership Declaration):

  • (i)    The testing of a Named Horse which has not been retired from racing pursuant to AR 64JA for the presence of substances that are prohibited at any time by the Rules;
  • (ii)  The testing of an Unnamed Horse for the presence of anabolic androgenic steroids;
  • (iii)The observation of other horses for health and welfare reasons only where there is a concern for their health and welfare based on reasonable grounds; and
  • (iv) The Rules that relate to traceability (AR 54A, AR64J, AR64JA and any relevant Local Rules).

(g) Nothing in this Rule 14B affects, or releases a person from, any requirement to be bound by the Rules of Racing that arises other than by the lodgement of the Foal Ownership Declaration Form, including but not limited to any requirement to be bound by the Rules of Racing that arises as a result of the lodgement of any other form, the making of any other declaration or the operation of any of the Rules.

As a result of this redrafted Rule of Racing the rules of the Australian Stud Book will also be amended to clarify that breeders and foal owners are bound only by Rule 14b (if they have not agreed to be bound through other forms such as an application to register a racehorse).

Finally, I would like to thank the vast number of breeders who have supported TBA so vocally on this issue.

For further information please contact TBA chief executive Tom Reilly on 02 9663 8581 or

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