Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) has announced it will invest an additional $6.8 million in funding through its Westspeed and EPONA initiatives, to enhance the local thoroughbred breeding industry from 2021 to 2023.
Forming part of RWWA’s strategy to support the retention and growth of locally bred thoroughbreds, the increase will be spread over three racing seasons, commencing in 2021.
“Westspeed is a thoroughbred incentive scheme that encourages investment in the Western Australian breeding and racing industry, and rewards owners and breeders who invest in locally bred horses,” said General Manager Racing, Charlotte Mills (pictured).
“A comprehensive review of the Westspeed scheme, in consultation with thoroughbred eligible bodies, individual breeders and owners, has provided the foundation for extending bonuses to more owners and breeders of Western Australian-sired horses.
“Providing added bonuses to those who breed and race locally bred horses at all levels of racing, not only distributes additional income to more owners, but provides them with further incentive for re-investment in the industry.”
Currently, owners and breeders of horses that are Western Australian-sired (Westspeed Platinum) or foaled from a dam that is at least 50% owned by a local breeder (Westspeed Standard), can receive bonuses on two and three year old races, and four year old races 1750m and over.
From the two-year-old crop commencing their racing careers in 2020/21, the following enhancements will be implemented to the Westspeed scheme:
- Additional bonuses paid to second and third place for races with $25,000 and over in prizemoney (currently only paid for first place).
- Westspeed Platinum four year old horses to receive a 50% bonus for all races under 1,750m (currently bonuses are only paid for races of 1,750m or further and for a horses first win in races less than 1,750m).
- Breeders to receive an additional $2,000 Perth Magic Millions Sales credit for Platinum winners in races with $50,000 and over in prizemoney.
- Bonuses introduced for Westspeed Platinum horses for races with under $50,000 in prizemoney (currently only paid for races with $50,000 and over in prizemoney).
With the introduction of bonuses payments to second and third, Westspeed Extra will be discontinued as a payment option from 1 August 2020. RWWA will be undertaking further consultation with industry on a restructure of the nomination fee framework prior to the closing of Westspeed applications in July 2020.
The $6.8 million also includes incremental funding over the three seasons toward RWWA’s EPONA Platinum credit system, where fillies and mares can accumulate credits to use towards locally-based stallion service fees for their first two consecutive seasons at a stud.
Through the initiative ten per cent of prizemoney can be accumulated as a line of breeding credit, by any filly or mare who wins a Western Australian race (excluding country and community meetings), to a maximum of $10,000.
The Minister for Racing and Gaming, Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA, commened RWWA for the announcement, noting the importance the Western Australian breeding industry plays on the local economy.
“Thoroughbred breeding activity in Western Australia is responsible for generating more than $49.9 million in economic contribution to the State, therefore supporting and maintaining the local breeding industry is important for both the industry and the wider economy.”