Thursday 13th June 2019

Trainers’ Costs from 2019 Equine Influenza Outbreak Covered by HBLB


For immediate release, Thursday 13th June 2019

Trainers’ Costs from 2019 Equine Influenza Outbreak Covered by HBLB

Trainers required by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to submit samples for analysis in the equine influenza outbreak in February 2019 have had their costs reimbursed in full by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB).  Eligible claims included for the sampling kits, vets’ call out fees where incurred, charges for transporting the samples to the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and other necessary costs.

Following HBLB’s process of confirmation and verification, claims submitted have now been paid. The total amounts to around £115,000, covering a total of 135 trainers.

HBLB Chief Executive Alan Delmonte said:

“HBLB gave a commitment to make a contribution towards the costs incurred by the specific trainers required to submit samples by BHA in these unusual and difficult circumstances. Having budgeted around £100,000 for this unexpected call on resources, we are pleased to have been able to meet the full costs involved, having now concluded the verification processes.

“We have estimated that the six-day suspension of the racing programme led to Levy yield falling by around £1.5m, but the swift action taken by BHA and others to contain and deal with the outbreak prevented the impact on the sport being more severe. 

“The episode reinforces the necessity to be vigilant for signs of infectious disease and of the importance of continued high quality veterinary research, areas in which HBLB spends some £2m annually.

“Separate from the trainers’ expenses for obtaining and sending in the samples, there were  additional costs of around £150,000 for the scientific analysis and review of those and other samples by the AHT. Following an evidence-led protocol, the AHT worked quickly to provide a detailed picture of the outbreak, helping racing to resume safely as soon as possible.

“The £150,000 cost was met from the Equine Infectious Disease Service’s ringfenced central fund to which HBLB, the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and racehorse owners contribute. This fund exists for the specific purpose of acting as a contingency in the event of disease outbreak.”

For further information, please contact Levy Board Chief Executive Alan Delmonte on 020 7504 4004