Wednesday 7th April 2021

HBLB Veterinary Science Research and Education Grant Round

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has launched a new grant application round for research and education awards to start from April 2022

HBLB Chief Executive Alan Delmonte said:

“The financial pressures of COVID-19 led the Board to suspend the equine veterinary science award round for 2020.  We are happy to be able to resume the programme this year.  HBLB remains highly committed to the improvement of Thoroughbred health and welfare and to maintaining Britain’s reputation for equine research.  The evaluation of applications will again be undertaken by our expert and dedicated Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) and our thanks go to our funding partners, the Racing Foundation, the TBA, the BEBF and, a new collaborator, the John Pearce Foundation.”

HBLB is inviting applications for major research projects, small projects, Research and Clinical Scholarships and Equine Post-Doctoral Fellowships.  Details on application processes for each of the grant types is shown below.

Professor Sandy Love, Chair of the HBLB’s VAC, said:

“We are delighted to resume the award programme and look forward to seeing what this country’s world-class vets and scientists propose.

“The HBLB’s research priorities are aligned with the outcomes of the Horse Welfare Board’s strategic plan for the welfare of horses bred for racing (2020 – 2024):

  • Best possible quality of life, which includes all aspects of healthcare, husbandry and disease control (eg improved methods of disease diagnosis, more effective vaccines, biosecurity and disease prevention strategies, antimicrobial and anthelmintic resistance)
  • Best possible safety and well-being during breeding, training and racing (eg  enhancement of diagnostic methods and restoration techniques after musculo-skeletal disease and injury, safer training and racing practices, minimisation of fatal and non-fatal injury)
  • Lifetime responsibility for equine health (eg optimal health of breeding Thoroughbreds and youngstock, reproductive efficiency, evaluation of factors affecting transition to post-racing careers)

“Our Priorities and Scope are agreed as a guide to what most concerns and interests Racing by an Industry group including the BHA, NTF, ROA, RCA, TBA, BEVA and ARVS.  This is important because our application assessment mechanism takes equal account of scientific rigour and of relevance to the racing, breeding and rearing of Thoroughbreds. 

“The new application round, for awards to start in 2022, opens on Friday 9 April.”

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of The Racing Foundation, said:

“At The Racing Foundation our purpose is to be a catalyst for improvement within the racing industry by offering charitable grants to impactful projects.

“We recognise that equine welfare is a vital area and since 2013 the foundation has given £1.3million to fund scientific research in this field.

“In 2021 we are again pledging £200,000 to fund equine scientific research and development projects that will practically benefit the racing industry and its horses.

“The Racing Foundation's commitment to fund research sits alongside contributions to other horse welfare activity, which includes funding the Horse Welfare Board's Aftercare Funding Review and three new horse welfare roles.”


Claire Sheppard, Chief Executive of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, said:

“Veterinary research is one of the TBA’s key charitable objectives and aligns with our strategic plan to ensure optimum health and welfare of the thoroughbred racehorse.  In recent years, funding from the TBA has supported research into early pregnancy loss in the mare and problems of resistance to existing parasite control drugs, both topics of fundamental importance to the industry.  We look forward to collaborating with the HBLB again to identify and support relevant and high quality research that will be of benefit to thoroughbred racehorses and those who breed them.“ 


To find out more about the John Pearce Foundation, visit


For further information please contact:

Professor Sandy Love, HBLB Veterinary Advisory Committee, via
Tansy Challis, Grants Manager, The Racing Foundation, 07709 954620
Caroline Turnbull, TBA Education and Welfare Manager, 01638 661321
Annie Dodd,HBLB Grants Manager, 020 7333 0043,

2021 Application Round

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) is inviting applications for equine veterinary research and education grants to start from April 2022. Applications open on 9 April 2021. The website  and links will not be activated before then, so do not try to access before midday on 9 April.

There are five award types: 

Application deadline is 2pm on Monday 21 June 2021

The HBLB supports scientifically robust research projects to benefit the racing, breeding and rearing of the Thoroughbred.  Innovative and novel research approaches are encouraged and all applications will be subject to peer review and full evaluation by the Board’s VAC.

Applications are made online via the HBLB’s Equine Grants System. Visit the ‘Support for Veterinary Science and Education’ section on the HBLB website for information on:

  • Research priorities and scope
  • Eligibility
  • Applications
  • Other activity in the veterinary sphere

Both the Racing Foundation and the John Pearce Foundation are interested in equine science research that has demonstrable practical benefits to Thoroughbred horseracing. Applicants submitting proposals through the Equine Grants System will be asked to indicate whether they wish their projects to be considered by the HBLB or either or both of the Foundations.  All applications will be subject to the normal HBLB review process.

Application deadline is 2pm on Monday 13 September 2021

This fund supports research focusing on specific issues of direct and immediate practical importance to the Thoroughbred.  The grants are open to individuals employed by veterinary schools, universities and research institutes, veterinary practitioners or elsewhere in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.  HBLB is particularly interested in receiving applications from clinicians, farriers and others involved directly in the care of horses.  Projects are limited to one year with costs restricted to around £10,000.  The application pack and form will appear in the ‘Support for Veterinary Science and Education’ section on the HBLB website.  

Application deadline is 2pm on Friday 25 June 2021

The two type of award are as follows:

  • Veterinary Research Training Scholarships offer four year funding to pursue a PhD programme in any scientific or veterinary field relevant to equines and particularly the racing, breeding or rearing of Thoroughbreds

Research Training Scholarships are open to veterinary graduates or non-veterinary science graduates.   The requirements regarding the subject of the PhD will be the same for graduates in either discipline.

  • Senior Equine Clinical Scholarships allow veterinary graduates with at least two years’ practical experience to train for a higher qualification, such as a European Diploma, over four years. The qualification must be in an equine field with particular relevance to the Thoroughbred.

Applications for both types of award must be made by the prospective supervisor within an eligible institution, such as a university veterinary school, other university department or research institute. Awards include a tax-free stipend to cover living costs and an expense allowance for research costs and other purposes directly relevant to the scholarship.

For full information and to apply, please download an application pack and form from the ‘Support for Veterinary Science and Education’ section on

Application deadline is 2pm on Friday 25 June 2021

The HBLB is again inviting applications from recent veterinary PhD graduates for a post-doctoral fellowship. 

Introduced in 2016, the Equine Post-Doctoral Fellowships are aimed at exceptional veterinary PhDs, with the skills and aptitude to develop a leading academic or clinical academic career in equine veterinary sciences. The area of research must be focused on Thoroughbred racing, breeding or rearing.  The fellowship will be tenable for three years. 

For full information and to apply, please download an application pack and form from the ‘Support for Veterinary Science and Education’ section on

For further information please contact Annie Dodd, Grants Manager at the Levy Board, at

Notes for editors:

The Horserace Betting 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 outcomes of HBLB-funded work are published in peer reviewed scientific journals.  The blog, on which some lay summaries are usually available, is currently under reconstruction.

In 2012 The Racing Foundation was established to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within the racing and thoroughbred industry following the sale of the Tote. Since inception it has awarded £23million in grants. People, equine welfare, community engagement and environment and emerging issues are the key areas of focus in the latest strategy. The Trustees of the Racing Foundation are Ian Barlow (Chairman), Linda Bowles, Susannah Gill, Mark Johnston, Louise Kemble and William Rucker. The British Horseracing Authority, the Horsemen’s Group and Racecourse Association are the three joint Members of The Racing Foundation, which is registered with the Charity Commission as a charity under the law of England and Wales (no. 1145297).

Web: Twitter: @RacingGrants