THE Weatherbys ITBA National Hunt Fillies Bonus Scheme will pay €7,500 to Irish-bred winners of bonus races from January 1st if that mare is winning her first bonus race.

Established in 2013, the scheme has paid out over €3 million in €5,000 bonuses over 10 years. It was designed as an industry support measure to promote National Hunt mares at the sales and to encourage owners and breeders to put fillies in training.

For a once-off fee of just €200, unraced fillies can be nominated to the scheme. Once entered, that filly is eligible to win a bonus if she wins a mares’ only bumper, maiden hurdle or beginners chase. It has been known for a mare to win three bonuses which, under the new bonus structure, would mean one €7,500 bonus and two further €5,000 payouts, with no deductions, if the mare is Irish-bred.

The self-help scheme has had an undeniable positive effect and is widely recognised as a major contributor in the increased demand for NH fillies at store sales.

ITBA National Hunt Committee chairman William Flood said: “The scheme has proven to be a great success for the NH sector, and we are very pleased with how the scheme has continued to strengthen over the last 10 years. Our National Hunt Committee has worked tirelessly to improve and further develop the scheme, and we are delighted to be able to offer this increased bonus to reward our Irish breeders and owners. This offers support at the grassroots level of our industry.”

The scheme is supported by Weatherbys, The Irish Field, Horse Racing Ireland, Goffs, Tattersalls, and of course the breeders and owners who nominate fillies each year.

HRI’s John Osborne added: “The NH Fillies Bonus Scheme has been instrumental in making fillies’ and mares’ races the attraction they are. The strength of our National Hunt breeding sector is measured by the quality of our mares, so we want to continue to support these initiatives.”

Applications are now open for the Weatherbys ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme for 2024. The criteria for eligibility are:

  • Three years of age or older at time of entry
  • Unraced (under rules) as of the closing date of September 30th (fillies who have raced in point-to-points are eligible)
  • €200 to be paid to the ITBA before the above closing date
  • Tel: 045 877543, 087 428 3844

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