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  News Weatherbys Ireland announced as title sponsor of ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme

Weatherbys Ireland announced as title sponsor of ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme

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Weatherbys Ireland have today been announced as the title sponsor of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA) National Hunt Fillies Bonus Scheme for 2017.

The Weatherbys/ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme is an industry initiative established in 2014 with the main aim of supporting the sale of fillies at public auction and encouraging owners and breeders to put their fillies in training.

The bonus scheme, which is open to all unraced 3-year-old or over fillies, rewards the owners of all eligible fillies who win their maidens with a €5,000 bonus. 94 such races are scheduled during 2017, a 24% increase from the 76 races run during the first year of the scheme.

An increase of 68% in the cumulative average for fillies sold at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale, Goffs Landrover Sale and Tattersalls Ireland August sale from 2010-2015 has been achieved, and it is widely recognised that the Weatherbys/ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme has been a significant factor in this growth.

The performance grading of mares prior to their stud career is a primary objective of the ITBA and this is supported by Weatherbys as the industry strives to further enhance the quality of the NH thoroughbred breeding industry in Ireland.

Ronan Murphy, CEO, Weatherbys Ireland, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Weatherbys/ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme for 2017. Over the past two years we have targeted our National Hunt race sponsorship program specifically at mares and fillies races across the country, culminating in a new Listed mares bumper at the Punchestown Festival which has been upgraded to Grade 3 status for 2017. Approximately 45% of all Irish born foals are produced for the National Hunt market and we believe that it is important that we support race programmes for fillies and mares which ultimately represent the future broodmares of our industry.”

Shane O’Dwyer, General Manager, ITBA, said: “The ITBA is delighted to announce that Weatherbys Ireland has come on board as title sponsor for the very successful National Hunt Fillies Bonus Scheme. The bonus scheme was originally set up to stimulate the sales of fillies and to encourage breeders to race them. The fact that Weatherbys Ireland has agreed to sponsor is further testament to their on-going commitment to the Irish breeding and racing industry.”

Dermot O’Brien, trainer, owner and breeder of dual bonus winner Glendine River said: “Glendine River was my first winner and to receive an additional €5,000 due to this scheme was fantastic. To top it off the mare went on to win two races in August on consecutive days at Tramore, one of which was a Maiden Hurdle for which she received a further €5,000 bonus from the scheme!”

Notable graduates of the scheme include Augusta Kate (pictured), Dont Kick Nor Bite, Glens Harmony, Miss Eyecatcher and Morning Run.