Alterations to the Vicbred program to be unveiled by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) in coming weeks will substantially boost the Vicbred First Win Bonus (FWB), rewarding connections of locally bred horses.

The changes will come into effect from the foal crop of 2021 – meaning mares served this year.

A new Vicbred tier will see progeny out of Victorian-based mares who are also sired by an Australasian bred stallion physically standing in Victoria eligible to receive a $12,000 FWB – up from the previous longstanding bonus of $7000. 

The change will form part of a series of Vicbred announcements, which will also see the Vicbred basic FWB lifted from $7000 to $8000 and the Vicbred Platinum FWB to $9000.

“We have worked closely with Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) to achieve this outcome through collaboration to improve returns to breeders who invest in Vicbred eligible stock,” Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) President Nick Hooper said.

“These changes will provide a boost to the siring careers of our best colts, support studs who stand our best colts, support our breeders, especially those who patronise our best colts, and add to the value of foals bred thereby improving the economics of breeding.

“It is important we highlight that these first win bonus changes will apply from the 2021 foal crop, so that is mares served this year. Now is the time to breed to benefit.”

The current $7000 FWB and all associated rules will continue to apply to all existing Vicbred eligible horses and those about to be foaled in the 2020 breeding season.

Eligibility criteria is set out in below table:

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager Racing Stephen Bell said the changes would provide a significant boost annually to the Vicbred program.

“The advantages of breeding and racing a horse in Victoria have never been more apparent,” Bell said.

“A key strategic pillar for HRV is to improve the breeding industry in Victoria and this is a huge step towards doing so.

“I acknowledge and congratulate Nick Hooper and his HBV executive who have closely collaborated with us to achieve this outcome, which will benefit all those who support the Vicbred program and by extension the Victorian breeding industry.”

The Victorian Harness Racing Club (VHRC) has welcomed today’s news as a win for the “whole industry”.

“These are exciting changes for our breeding industry here in Victoria and I’m sure we’ll see a positive impact immediately given the increased bonuses apply to the 2021 foal crop, so mares served this year,” VHRC General Manager Rob Auber said.

“Strengthening the breeding industry of course helps to stimulate ownership and the whole industry. We’re really pleased with the ongoing high level collaboration taking place between HRV and industry groups.”

More details on the program will be announced in coming weeks.


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