Monday 25th March 2013

HBLB Announces New Research Grant Funding for 2013

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has opened applications for equine veterinary research grants in 2013. Three different grant funds are being offered.

Firstly, HBLB supports scientifically robust research projects that benefit the racing and breeding Thoroughbred. Its strategic research priorities are:

  • Improved prevention of current and emerging infectious diseases by the development of more effective vaccines, diagnostic tools, biosecurity and management strategies;

  • Improved training environment and racecourse design and surfaces, riding strategies, tack and equipment to enhance the safety, health and well-being of racehorses;

  • Improved methods of identification, management and prevention of musculoskeletal disease and injury in Thoroughbreds;

  • Improved male and female reproductive efficiency.


Secondly, in a new initiative for 2013, researchers will also be able to apply via HBLB for Racing Foundation funds.

The Racing Foundation supports applied research in the field of equine science which has demonstrable practical benefits to Thoroughbred horseracing. Applications will be accepted in equine related disciplines, including veterinary, biological science, non-biological science and technical interests.

Both funding streams encourage innovative and novel research approaches and all applications will be subject to peer review and full evaluation by the HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC). Eligibility criteria apply. Applications are made online via the HBLB’s Equine Grants System.

Thirdly, a new HBLB fund for Small Project Grants is launched. This supports research projects that focus on specific issues of direct and immediate practical importance to the health and wellbeing of the Thoroughbred. The grants will be open to all and are for projects under £10k and lasting less than 1 year.

Professor Willie Donachie, Chair of the HBLB’s VAC which will be overseeing all the grant funds, said: “The availability of these grant funds in 2013 is very positive news that will further add to advances in veterinary science and continue to protect and enhance the health and well-being of racing and breeding horses. As well as HBLB’s long term investment in veterinary research, Racing Foundation’s commitment to funding equine science is welcomed and will be a valuable addition to the resources that support the racing industry. Working with our stakeholders, the VAC recognised the potential in also offering grants for smaller projects and we are looking forward to a range of innovative, progressive and relevant proposals.”

Notes for editors:

The Levy Board is a statutory body operating in accordance with the provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (as amended). Its purpose is to assess and collect monetary contributions from bookmakers via a levy, which it distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses, and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.

The Levy Board commemorated its 50th anniversary of funding veterinary science research. The outcomes are published in peer reviewed scientific journals and lay summaries are available at

The Racing Foundation was established in 2012 with funding derived from the UK government’s sale of the Horserace Totalisator Board ("Tote"). The Racing Foundation aims to use these funds to achieve a lasting legacy for the sport of horseracing.