Our history

In 1770 Northumbrian lawyer James Weatherby was appointed by the Jockey Club as their Secretary and Keeper of the Match Book at Newmarket.

James Weatherby

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 and proprietorship of the General Stud Book.

Although the Jockey Club handed its governance responsibilities to the British Horseracing Authority, Weatherbys has remained the constant racing administration presence under contract.
Weatherbys is a family business, now in its seventh generation, which has grown and flourished alongside the sport of horse racing and the very development of the Thoroughbred racehorse itself.

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.

  • 1770 - Northumbrian solicitor James Weatherby was appointed as secretary of the Jockey Club, effectively founding Weatherbys
  • 1773 - James published the first Racing Calendar, which recorded the results of all horse races run in Britain and Ireland. The publication is still published fortnightly
  • 1791 - The first General Stud Book is published, recording the very first details of the Thoroughbred
  • 1866 - The Rules of Racing are created, setting new standards for prize money and Thoroughbred standards
  • 1901 - Weatherbys is formalised as racing’s administrator by The Jockey Club “to provide the clerical assistance required by The Jockey Club”
  • 1973 - Our Irish office opens in Dublin to run the Irish General Stud Book
  • 1976 - Weatherbys were appointed Secretariat to the International Stud Book Committee
  • 1986 - Parentage verification for all Weatherbys registered foals through blood typing was introduced (blood typing technology was first trialed by the Stud Book in the 1970s)
  • 1988 - (GB) and (IRE) country suffixes were introduced behind a horse’s name to indicate country of foaling e.g. Sea The Stars (IRE)
  • 1991 - Foal Passports were introduced – prior to that Foal Identification Certificates were issued. Passports were issued for breeding and racing stock prior to 1991
  • 1998 - Passport life numbers were introduced
  • 1999 - From 1999, all foals in GB and Ireland registered with Weatherbys were microchipped
  • 2001 - DNA parentage verification was introduced – replacing Blood typing
  • 2005 - The Weatherbys group becomes two separate entities – Weatherbys Limited and Weatherbys Banking Group
  • 2008 - First Stud Book Fact Book published
  • 2017 - Launch of GSB Online for all GSB registrations
  • 2018 - Introduction of 30-Day Foal notification
  • 2020 - Weatherbys celebrates our 250th anniversary
  • 2021 - Introduction of ePassport & Weatherbys Digital Solutions