British Racing funds research to improve equine health and wellbeing

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has recently opened applications for a new round of equine veterinary research grants in 2013. 

The new grants will support scientific research projects that benefit the racing and breeding Thoroughbred. They will be targeted towards projects that improve the prevention of infectious diseases and musculoskeletal injuries. They will also support research into ways to improve racehorse safety though modifications to racecourse design, use of different racing strategies and racehorse tack and equipment

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). Applications are made online via the HBLB’s Equine Grants System.

A new HBLB fund for Small Project Grants has also been 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.”

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 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.