Buy a stake at affordable stud prices
WE HAVE all seen photographs of those idyllic scenes; thoroughbred mares and foals enjoying the well-manicured paddocks at Britains top studs. But few people can afford to be part of that world because the stud fees of the top stallions are around £100,000, and the keep of the mares is about £90/week.
No wonder then that the Breeders Club, which for £750 gives members a five-year stake in several mares at the National Stud, was quickly fully subscribed. Launched in 1997, it has 1400 members. They can go along to the stud to visit their mares, watch the foals grow, and see them sold at the December sales. The first years crop sold well, averaging 11,000 guineas.
With such a promising start members are hopeful that they may even see a profit out of the venture. However, club organiser and chief executive of the National Stud, Miles Littlewort stresses the it is not marketed as a money-making scheme. "We cannot guarantee any income. We can only say that members will not lose more than £750. The clubs prime purpose is to give a large number of people the opportunity to breed racehorses at affordable prices."
The club bought seven mares and each year the National Stud Board plans matings to complement the qualities of the mares. The progress of the mares and their offspring is reported to members on an information line, by newsletter and on the regular open days.
* National Stud foals
Members have free entry to the stud during opening hours. In addition there are open days for members which often coincide with race days, when concessions are available to members.
Recently retired Peter Truett is enthusiastic about the scheme
"It is nice to go down there. We know when the mares are covered, when they foal. The National Stud is very good at keeping us informed on what is happening," says Peter.
The popularity and the success of the club is encouraging the National Stud to consider starting another one this year. Anyone who is interested please phone the National Stud, (01638-663464) for details. TF