The Australian Racing Board is set to take control of the Australian Stud Book for an $18 million price-tag this week.

The Stud Book, started in 1878, has been owned by the Australian Turf Club and Victoria Racing Club since 1910.

The ARB will also take control of Racing Information Services Australia (RISA) from the Principal Racing Authorities.  There will be cost savings in bringing the two databases together.

“The ARB will take control and have all racing-data records centralised, which can only be good for the sport and its integrity,” ATC chairman Michael Crismale said.  “It has been more than 12 months to get to this point and it’s a good result for the industry.”

The Stud Book is the Australian thoroughbred industry’s library, and it records all stallions and broodmares in Australia as well as the more than 15,000 foals a year.  It has the responsibility of recording a brands register and assists with research into and promotion of the breed.  It was feared that it would add to the costs for horse owners had it become privately owned.

However, the ARB will continue it as an industry asset and an independent body, which has been welcomed by leading breeders.  “I think the centralisation of the Stud Book to the ARB will continue it as a world leader,” Vinery Stud boss Peter Orton said.  “It will be independent of the breeders and there are great benefits in having the administrative part of the business controlled by a body like the ARB.”

As a non-profit organisation, ARB will return any profits from the operation of the Stud Book to the industry.