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Our 250th


Weatherbys 250th Anniversary


Our 250th

Weatherbys 250th Anniversary

Weatherbys celebrated their 250th birthday in 2020.
It was in 1770, that a Northumbrian attorney called James Weatherby was appointed by the Jockey Club as their Secretary and Keeper of the Match Book at Newmarket. He worked from the Jockey Club’s rooms from that year until his death in 1794, when the business passed to his son, Edward.

During James’ tenure, the family gained: 

  • Responsibility for administration to the sport’s fledgling governing body
  • Ownership and publishing rights to the sport’s almanac, The Racing Calendar
  • The role of “Stakeholder”, providing accounting services to the sport
  • Proprietorship of the General Stud Book

Those four elements can be traced as directly to the present activities of the firm as the unbroken family link between the current seventh generation of owner-managers and the first.
 
Although the Jockey Club handed its governance responsibilities to the British Horseracing Authority, Weatherbys has remained the constant racing administration presence under contact. A role once described as “the Machinery of the Turf”.

From the role of stakeholder – handling the race entry stakes and distributing prize money – has grown Weatherbys Bank, one of only two family-owned private banks in the UK and now serving clients beyond the world of horseracing.
 
As publishers, Weatherbys remain responsible for one of sports oldest journals The Racing Calendar, but are also familiar to the racing world from printing over 3 million racecards each year, to publishing a huge range of industry titles and the electronic supply of pre and post-race data to the worlds media. 
 
The General Stud Book is the record of Thoroughbred breeding in Britain and Ireland and constitutes the original register of the breed. It is the world’s “Mother Stud Book”, to which all other registers of Thoroughbred breeding across the globe trace their ancestry and format.

Weatherbys continue to record all the foals born in Britain and Ireland, thereby sustaining an unbroken 30-generation record of the breed, from its development in England in the early 18thcentury to today. Weatherbys chair the International Stud Book Committee which represents 66 stud book authorities from around the world. As with so many areas of the business technology has transformed Stud Book division where online registration and digital identification are now central to its operation.

Weatherbys retains its core responsibilities, but has always sought to diversify operations. In financial services, alongside Weatherbys Bank, this includes a thriving asset finance business and a private client insurance brokerage in Weatherbys Hamilton.
 
Alongside Weatherbys’ equine registration work now sits a laboratory performing parental DNA verification on all the horses together with involvement in wider genomic testing of agricultural stock and canines.

In utilising its extraordinary storehouse of racehorse pedigree and performance data, Weatherbys provides information services to the thoroughbred auction houses of Europe and beyond, along with bespoke services to studs, stallion owners and bloodstock agents.

A family firm, now in its seventh generation. Founded the year Captain Cook discovered Australia. Which has grown and flourished alongside the sport of horseracing and the very development of the Thoroughbred racehorse itself.
 
Conscious and proud of our 250-year heritage, but ambitious and poised for our future. Our growing involvement in science and technology sets the course for the business but we will always remember the roots of the business where the thoroughbred, the customer and the industry always come first.

Our 250th logo was designed to reflect these deep roots and our constant growth.