The origins of our company


A family story that spans four centuries

Horses have raced in Britain for hundreds of years, but it was not until the second half of the 18th century that the sport began to be properly organised and regulated. The Jockey Club was founded, rulebooks written and the Classic races first run. 

In 1770, in the midst of all this activity, James Weatherby (a Northumbrian lawyer) was appointed as Secretary to the Jockey Club, Keeper of the Match Book and Stakeholder, thereby placing him at the very heart of the developing sport. Weatherbys, as a firm, has continued in that role ever since. 

In 1791, James Weatherby published the first volume of the General Stud Book, the original and authoritative register of the world wide Thoroughbred breed, which has remained in our care ever since. 

Photo of Johnny Weatherby, Chairman of Weatherbys Sir Johnny Weatherby KCVO

At the heart of the industry from the outset, today we administer racing under contract from the governing British Horseracing Authority, as well continuing our role registering all thoroughbred horses in Britain and Ireland within The General Stud Book. 

Alongside these core responsibilities, we provide many different services to racecourses, owners, trainers, breeders and others interested in the sport. 

In Ireland, we have one of Europe’s premier DNA and genomic testing laboratories, offering a range of tests to multiple animal species. 

Photo of Roger Weatherby, CEO of Weatherbys Bank Roger Weatherby

We have created Weatherbys Bank, offering everything expected from a modern financial services company but always delivered with the personal care and attention to detail that is the hallmark of a traditional family firm. We remain privately owned and have enjoyed direct involvement from seven generations of the Weatherby family.

Our reputation means everything. Integrity, reliability and accuracy are our watchwords, and we monitor our performance constantly to ensure we deliver the highest levels of customer service. We are proud of the trust that our customers and clients put in us. 

We are conscious of our history but always ambitious for our future.

250th Anniversary

2020 marked our 250th anniversary. If you'd like to know more about this milestone, you can find out more here.