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11th September 2007

Lloyd’s Supports Thoroughbred Breeders Association
The equine industry’s major insurance underwriter – Lloyd’s of London – have added their support to recent TBA efforts to salvage the remaining weeks of this year’s breeding season.

Keith Stern, Lloyd’s Sydney representative, issued a formal statement this morning which said:

“Lloyd’s Underwriters are prepared to support the initiative proposed by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association to allow movement of horses into and within infected areas to permit the breeding season to progress”.

“We’re grateful for Lloyd’s practical approach to EI [Equine Influenza] here because from all accounts those farms that have contracted it in the Hunter claim it only presents with mild symptoms” said TBA President John Messara.

If the 2007 breeding industry is cancelled as a result of the EI outbreak, losses to NSW breeders in particular will be considerable and there will be severe ramifications for other areas of the Industry in future years.

Independent research conducted for the TBA has estimated the direct losses to NSW breeders from a significantly reduced 2008 foal crop at approximately $823 million should the 2007 season not go ahead.

“As a means of reducing these losses the TBA is progressing with the concept of a special restricted zone in the Hunter,” reports Messara.

“We have the potential to substantially reduce the losses to the NSW breeding industry if we can commence serving mares by 15 September. Our research reveals that should a restricted zone be established and movement of mares allowed within that zone then, based on the birthdates of the 2006 foals, if serving could commence on that date, 92.5% of the predicted losses could be saved.

That’s 5,620 foals, and the minimum loss in such circumstances would be approximately $62 million. That remains a significant figure but it will have far less catastrophic an effect across the industry than $823 million.”

Queensland is also suffering with EI and Messara commented “further delay to their breeding industry will only accentuate the losses.”

Bob Frappell, President of the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association [‘TBQA’] said “TBQA fully support the TBA and the initiatives John Messara has proposed. If the protocols are easy to rely on we would like the same protocols as NSW.

We want to get our State’s mares served as well. We know the DPI probably won’t allow any cross-border activity this season but even if we can get some intra- State breeding underway it would be great news for our breeders.”

Additional notes:

The research was based on the following facts:

· The total number of mares covered in NSW in 2006 was 10,967.

· If there are no movements allowed for the season, then using the percentage of walk-ins calculated on the six major studs (below), the number of mares unable to be served is estimated at 8,100.

This would equate to an approximate decrease in the number of foals in 2008 of 6,075 or 33% of the 2006 Australian foal crop.

· The average price for yearlings sold in Australia in 2007 was $135,627.
If this Australia-wide average is used to value the foal crop loss, the total loss would be approximately $823 million. Due to the quality of stallions based in the Hunter Valley, this figure is regarded as conservative.

· Mares to be covered in NSW in 2007 by largest 6 studs.

Stud Expected no.mares Mares on farm Walk on Percent walk on
Coolmore 2,400 540 1,860 77.5%
Darley 1,750 150 1,600 91.43%
Arrowfield 1,100 270 830 75.45%
Widden 900 280 620 68.89%
Vinery 850 260 590 69.41%
Woodlands 800 550 250 31.25%
Totals 7,750 2,050 5,750 73.72%

*includes shuttle stallions currently in quarantine


TBA Media Release.