Board Meeting Summary

Meeting Date: Tuesday 27th March 2012

Fixture Criteria and Distribution for 2013

The Board noted that, in the light of the creation of a 2013 fixtures project group involving the Levy Board, BHA, Horsemen, RCA and REL, it was not being asked at this stage to address its 2013 Fixture Criteria and other distribution matters. Objectives of the group include ensuring that all parties were working off agreed datasets. It was expected that the Board would be asked at its July meeting to take decision on various expenditure issues before the compilation process of the Fixture List was underway.

Equine Genetics Programme

The Board noted an update provided on the Equine Genetics Programme, which was a four-year long project (2006 to 2009), set up by the British Horseracing Board (BHB) and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA). Researchers at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and Royal Veterinary College (RVC) investigated two bone diseases: catastrophic fracture and osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD); and one muscle disease, recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER). The EGP Review Panel’s end of term report noted that for each disease the research had resulted in the identification of several regions containing a number of known or predicted genes that may be associated with the diseases RER and OCD.

Genetic markers for a number of the genes studied showed an association with fracture in the Flat or Jump thoroughbred population used in the study. The EGP Review Panel concluded that the EGP had proved to be important, strategic and valuable and listed recommended actions to utilise the EGP outcomes for the future. The total cost of the programme in four years was £1.3m, of which HBLB contributed £1m and the TBA £300,000. The AHT is actively pursuing opportunities to take the EGP research to the next stage.