DISCUSSIONS between the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association [ITBA] and Department officials will continue next week around the removal of the requirement on British breeders to deposit a bond equivalent to 20% of their mare’s value before sending it to be covered by an Irish stallion.

Since Britain left the European Union formally over 18 months ago, there have been significant barriers to the movement of horses between Ireland and Britain. This has affected both racing and breeding, with the 20% ‘temporary admission’ deposit high on the list of deterrents to cross-channel traffic.

Earlier this year Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners removed the 20% bond requirement for British racehorses coming to Ireland to race, as they were satisfied these horses were not being imported without paying VAT and would be returning to Britain within days.

However, the bond is still required for broodmares coming to Ireland from Britain. Some breeders are believed to have gotten around the requirement by grossly undervaluing their horses on official forms. However, recent ITBA research confirmed that the number of British broodmares visiting the leading Irish studs had dropped by at least 27%.

Some leading Irish breeders have told The Irish Field they have also cut back on the number of mares they are sending to British stallions, due to the extra costs and administrative work.

This week Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [HMRC] agreed to a new temporary admission procedure which will allow intermediaries (such as a transporter or shipper) to apply for an authorisation enabling them to move thoroughbreds under multiple ownerships, without the need for a financial guarantee to be provided on these movements.

As well as helping Irish breeders who want to send horses to the sales in Britain, this change will make it easier for Irish trainers to send runners to Britain too.

Now the ITBA wants Revenue to reciprocate this measure to make it more attractive for British breeders to send mares to Ireland or sales horses. ITBA chief executive Shane O’Dwyer said: “We have raised breeders’ concerns with Department officials regarding restrictions on temporary admission for some time now and appear to be making progress. Hopefully this news from the UK will act as a catalyst to expedite the process and I am confident that officials understand the competitive disadvantage placed on the industry should no action be taken.”