Weatherbys preparing for Brexit fallout amid stud book concerns

Racing administrators Weatherbys on Thursday said that whatever guise Brexit ends up taking, the company is likely to suffer the consequences, with several of its services set to be affected.

The free movement of horses between Britain, Ireland and France is one of racing's major concerns regarding Brexit, and a no-deal exit from the European Union is considered the worst possible outcome by several industry figures.

Weatherbys communications director Nick Craven said: "Weatherbys' various industry roles include many of those where Brexit could have significant implications and the Weatherbys General Stud Book is where the effects might be most keenly felt.

"The GSB's responsibilities include issuing passports and export certificates, handling imports and monitoring cross-border movements for industry purposes and for government compliance, particularly around biosecurity, health and welfare.

"This includes the 26,000 thoroughbred shipments between Britain, Ireland and France each year – the vast majority of these movements are related to breeding stock."

Weatherbys has already started preparing for a post-Brexit landscape, as Craven added: "The possible impacts of Brexit mean we have been spending a considerable amount of time working on our IT systems and processes in preparation for managing the tracking and movement of thoroughbreds post-Brexit.

"Weatherbys is part of the Thoroughbred Brexit Steering Group and we have been working very closely alongside the British Horseracing Authority and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association in preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU."