The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has launched a new grant application round for research and education awards to start from April 2022.
HBLB Chief Executive Alan Delmonte said:
“The financial pressures of COVID-19 led the Board to suspend the equine veterinary science award round for 2020. We are happy to be able to resume the programme this year. HBLB remains highly committed to the improvement of Thoroughbred health and welfare and to maintaining Britain’s reputation for equine research. The evaluation of applications will again be undertaken by our expert and dedicated Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) and our thanks go to our funding partners, the Racing Foundation, the TBA, the BEBF and, a new collaborator, the John Pearce Foundation.”
HBLB is inviting applications for major research projects, small projects, Research and Clinical Scholarships and Equine Post-Doctoral Fellowships. Details on application processes for each of the grant types is shown below.
Professor Sandy Love, Chair of the HBLB’s VAC, said:
“We are delighted to resume the award programme and look forward to seeing what this country’s world-class vets and scientists propose.
“The HBLB’s research priorities are aligned with the outcomes of the Horse Welfare Board’s strategic plan for the welfare of horses bred for racing (2020 – 2024):
- Best possible quality of life, which includes all aspects of healthcare, husbandry and disease control (eg improved methods of disease diagnosis, more effective vaccines, biosecurity and disease prevention strategies, antimicrobial and anthelmintic resistance)
- Best possible safety and well-being during breeding, training and racing (eg enhancement of diagnostic methods and restoration techniques after musculo-skeletal disease and injury, safer training and racing practices, minimisation of fatal and non-fatal injury)
- Lifetime responsibility for equine health (eg optimal health of breeding Thoroughbreds and youngstock, reproductive efficiency, evaluation of factors affecting transition to post-racing careers)
“Our Priorities and Scope are agreed as a guide to what most concerns and interests Racing by an Industry group including the BHA, NTF, ROA, RCA, TBA, BEVA and ARVS. This is important because our application assessment mechanism takes equal account of scientific rigour and of relevance to the racing, breeding and rearing of Thoroughbreds.
“The new application round, for awards to start in 2022, opens on Friday 9 April.”
Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of The Racing Foundation, said:
“At The Racing Foundation our purpose is to be a catalyst for improvement within the racing industry by offering charitable grants to impactful projects.
“We recognise that equine welfare is a vital area and since 2013 the foundation has given £1.3million to fund scientific research in this field.
“In 2021 we are again pledging £200,000 to fund equine scientific research and development projects that will practically benefit the racing industry and its horses.
“The Racing Foundation's commitment to fund research sits alongside contributions to other horse welfare activity, which includes funding the Horse Welfare Board's Aftercare Funding Review and three new horse welfare roles.”