Before being re-elected into parliament last year, one of David Cameron’s promises if he won the 2016 General Election, was to hold a referendum on whether Britain should remain as a member of the European Union. Cameron was successful in his re-election campaign and now, consequently, on 23rd June, Britain will decide whether or not it will ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ in the European Union.
From both sides of the debate, some fairly extreme arguments have been put forward and accusations of scaremongering have been made against both sides of the coin. Many of us though, still find ourselves in no-mans-land, surrounded by politically charged hot air, waffle and propaganda. As we approach the deciding day, many people want to see the potential pros and cons of each argument, so they can make a rational and informed opinion before they go to the ballots.
For the majority of people, the way in which they decide to vote will come down to money: how will staying ‘In’ or ‘Out’ affect their mortgage repayments? Will their investments or pensions appreciate or depreciate? Some will simply be more concerned with whether or not the country’s decision will make ventures abroad more expensive.
A major concern for many people and businesses in the Racing and Equine Industry is the effect a Brexit would have on the Pound. Since the start of the debate last year, GBP has fallen by 12.5% against the Euro, 6.8% against the US Dollar and has weakened by 11.4% versus the Australian Dollar. Economists’ indicate that interest rates will not be increased until at least the middle of next year, which has had some part to play in the weakening of Sterling, but what is fairly certain is that Foreign Exchange markets have been pricing in a potential Brexit and the knock on effects that leaving the EU would have.
In the short term, it has been argued that if the UK were to leave, trade would be negatively affected due to the re-negotiation of trade deals which would be a lengthy process as talks would need to take place with both EU members and other non-EU countries who the UK currently trades with.
Although this short term wound may heal over, there is a general consensus that if there was a Brexit, there would be some hurt. This being said though, various economists have spoken about the UK becoming a cheaper destination for overseas visitors and in the long term this could make exports more competitive, which, it is thought, could strengthen the Pound.
In May, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England said that if Britain quits the European Union, it could result in "material slowdown in growth and notable increase in inflation" and that there would be a very real chance a Brexit could lead to "technical recession".
In a letter to George Osborne, Carney also stated that: "A vote to leave the EU could have material economic effects…on the exchange rate, on demand and on the economy's supply potential".
In racing terms, purchasing a horse in Ireland or France, for example would become more expensive for British buyers, as they’d get less EUR for their GBP if Sterling were to weaken off the back of a victory for the ‘Leave’ campaigners. European owners, Trainers and Jockeys would also be affected when converting prize money if Sterling were to weaken, particularly this month at Royal Ascot and the Epsom meeting, where they may well see less EUR on the other side of their conversions, if the UK were to leave.
On the other hand, at meetings such as the Belmont Stakes and the Irish Derby, with a weaker pound, British Owners, Trainers and Jockeys would see a larger sum when they convert their funds from Euros or Dollars back into Pounds. So if the British currency does follow forecasts on the back of a Brexit, British Owners, Trainers and Jockeys may look further afield when entering their horses in big races.
There is still much to be decided between now and when Britain decides to retain or reject their membership of the EU and no doubt we’ll see more exaggerated possibilities and potential disaster stories from both sides, in an effort to get the undecided voters on board. One thing that is for certain though, is that everything from the conversion of prize money to international horse transportation will be affected if Sterling takes a pounding as a result of a Brexit.
For more information as to how you can save money on your next currency transfer, please visit www.racingfx.co.uk
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The UK’s first Equine Flu Awareness Month (EFAM) is being launched in April with the aim of raising awareness, understanding and virus surveillance of this highly contagious evolving disease, say the organisers.
The Animal Health Trust (AHT) and Merial Animal Health have joined forces to create the initiative. The AHT’s head of epidemiology and disease surveillance, Dr Richard Newton, believes that the campaign is a significant step in the battle against equine flu: “The creation of Equine Flu Awareness Month is an important step forward for the equine industry.
“There have been 52 recorded outbreaks of equine influenza in the last two years, and whilst this may sound considerable, we believe it’s actually just the tip of the iceberg,” he says.
“An equine influenza surveillance scheme at the AHT provides ongoing free sampling to all practices registered to the service, funded by The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB).
“We are fortunate that the HBLB invests in this important scheme which also benefits the industry as a whole. We know that approximately just 40% of the total UK herd is vaccinated, so when you consider that all racehorses and many other competing and performance horses are vaccinated under compulsory rules, that leaves the remainder of the herd even less protected and the total percentage well short of the 70% required in order to prevent an epidemic¹,²,” he adds.
“Many horses that don’t travel are still at risk of equine influenza, but frequently go unvaccinated. These animals are not only at risk of contracting and amplifying virus from their stable-mates that do travel, but are also at risk of airborne infection as equine flu is capable of travelling over a mile as an aerosol on the wind,” he concludes.
For more information on Equine Flu Awareness Month visit www.equinefluawareness.com
1. Baker D. Equine Vet J 1986;18(2):93–96.
2. Merial Proactive Insight benchmarking 2015.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,200 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with close to €2 billion of sales. Merial is a Sanofi company. www.merial.com
Since Cheltenham last year, over £317 billion has been wiped from the FTSE100, with major contributors being a 38% slide in the price of oil as well as the dramatic speed at which China’s economy is slowing down. As we rapidly approach this year’s festival, the economic outlook is even less predictable and currency markets are no more immune to volatility than anywhere else.
With an ever growing Irish dominance, the conversion of Cheltenham prize money from Sterling to Euro is likely to be a popular activity in the weeks following on from the festival, and bearing in mind the current fickleness of the global economy, Owners, Trainers and Jockeys will want to get the best exchange rate possible.
An example of how rapidly the GBPEUR rate can change came at the end of 2015; at the start of October, the exchange rate was around 1.3500, then moved to 1.4300 in mid-November. At the end of December, the price went back to 1.3500, where we saw a maximum change of 6%. So, when buying €100,000, there would a difference of €6,000, depending on the date of purchase. If the same were to happen over the coming months, for foreign winners at Cheltenham, victory would be somewhat dampened by receiving fewer Euros on the other side of their conversions.
On top of this, Owners, Trainers and Jockeys should also be aware of the provider they use to convert their winnings. Typically, High Street Banks will charge 3%-5% on the interbank exchange rate, compared to independent currency and payment providers, who have the advantage of being able to offer clients more flexible rates, with some bespoke companies presenting their racing and equine clients with prices around 0.3%-0.5%.
To put this into perspective, if for argument’s sake, the interbank exchange rate for GBPEUR was 1.3500 and a client was charged 3% by their bank when converting £100,000 worth of prize money, the client’s rate would be 1.3095 and the amount of Euros they’d receive would be €130,950. If the same person converted their money with an independent provider instead, they are more likely to be charged around 0.5% on the mid-market rate, receiving a quote of 1.3432 and would obtain €134,320 on the other side of the conversion, saving them €3,370.
A mouth-watering total of $30 million will also be up for grabs at the Dubai World Cup at the end of the month and with competitors travelling from Japan, France, Australia and everywhere in between, the sums of currency being converted are likely to dwarf those of Cheltenham, with the difference in returns for connections using independent providers compared to a bank, being huge.
With over £4 million in prize money at Cheltenham and $30 million from the Dubai World Cup, the number of currency transactions within the racing industry this month looks set to be phenomenal, and the potential savings that could be made are unquestionable. As always, there’ll be winners and losers throughout the week, but by moving away from the banks, those who gain festival glory could be even more victorious.
For more information as to how you can save money on your next currency transfer, please visit www.racingfx.co.uk
The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is one of the highlights on the sporting calendar and tens of thousands of supporters travel to the racecourse every year to witness some of the best horses, jockeys and trainers pit their wits against one another for a number of the sport’s top trophies.
This year’s event was a huge success and the popularity of the event, both at the course and on the television coverage, has only increased the anticipation levels ahead of the 2016 event. Next year’s meeting will begin on Tuesday 15th March and will last for a full four days before the final race on Friday 18th March.
Vautour, who won so impressively at the festival earlier this year, is one of the early contenders to claim success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is arguably the most prestigious race of the week. There are a number of impressive horses already included in the betting markets for this race but the selection committee will narrow down the amount of horses involved as the event draws nearer.
By the same token, there are already some top quality horses pencilled in to run in the World Hurdle, which is one of the highlights of Thursday’s action. Jezki, which was a popular mount with AP McCoy before his retirement, and Annie Power, who famously fell at the final hurdle in the Mares’ Hurdle, are just two of the incredible field that could line up for this race.
Ruby Walsh will be well fancied after his tremendous performance at this year’s festival and will get the ride on most of Willie Mullins’ top prospects once again. The Mullins/Walsh combination has been incredible in recent years, particularly at televised meetings, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see those two feature regularly in the Winners Enclosure throughout the week.
The Cheltenham Festival truly is one of the great spectacles on the sporting calendar and supporters who travel to the racecourse are in for a treat. The atmosphere will be absolutely sensational on-site and anticipation is beginning to grow for the first major festival of the 2016 calendar. While you can watch the racing on terrestrial television, there’s nothing quite like the general buzz and vibe of live horse racing. It’s well worth a trip and, with a bit of luck, you could come home with profit.
PUBLISHED IN ASSOCIATION WITH SLAP-UP-MEDIA
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Joel H. Marr upgrades racehorse training facility with fabric structures from Legacy Building Solutions.
Keeping the delicate pH balance in your horse’s digestive system is imperative to their overall health and performance. Your horse’s feeds are loaded with indigestible ingredients such as starches and sugar, that in excess, end up flooding the hind gut after the small intestine has been over worked. If not properly fermented, these ingredients greatly upset the natural pH causing loose stool, spikes in blood sugar, lowered immune system, hind gut acidosis, “leaky gut syndrome”, ulcers and ultimately colic symptoms.
Prize-money boost and “free entry scheme” for Longines Irish Champions Weekend
Building on the success of last year, total prize-money for the 2015 Longines Irish Champions Weekend has been increased to €4.03 million. The Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 12th remains one of the highest-rated races on the international calendar and will be worth €1.1 million in 2015, an increase of €100,000 on last year. The total prize money on offer at Leopardstown on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend will be €2.13 million.
Three races at the Curragh on Sunday, September 13th have also been raised in value. The Derrinstown Stud Flying Five will be run as a Group 2 race for the first time and its prize fund has been doubled from €100,000 to €200,000. The value of the Group 1 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger has increased from €300,000 to €350,000 and the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes also rises by €50,000 to €250,000. The total prize-money at the Curragh has risen by €200,000 to €1.9 million.
Four valuable premier handicaps will be run over the course of Longines Irish Champions Weekend. It is certainly a weekend of high-class racing action which will cater for all. Each of the handicap races boasts a value of €150,000 and will be run over six, seven, ten and twelve furlongs respectively.
Longines Irish Champions Weekend is, in effect, the first leg of a European Triple Crown of championship meetings, leading into the QATAR Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp in early October and QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot two weeks later.
What’s more, a series of races have been included in the ‘Longines Irish Champions Weekend Free Entry Scheme’ where the winning horses will be entitled to a refund equivalent to the total cost of running for a horse which had been entered at the initial entry stage, should they run in designated races on Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
Valuable and prestigious races in their own right, the additional bonus of free entry for Longines Irish Champions Weekend makes them all the more enticing:
RACE DATE QUALIFIER RACE FREE ENTRY FOR
6th August Ballyroan Stakes (Gp 3) 3yo+ 12f - Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger (Gp 1)
7th August El Gran Senor (L) 2yo 71/2f - John Deere Juvenile Turf Stakes (Gp 3)
7th August Abergwaun Stakes (L) 3yo+ 5f - Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (Gp 2)
12th August Hurry Harriet Stakes (L) 3yo+ 91/2f - Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes (Gp 2)
13th August Desmond Stakes (Gp 3) 3yo+ 8f - Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes (Gp 2)
22nd August Renaissance Stakes (Gp3) 3yo+ 6f - Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (Gp 2)
23rd August Debutante Stakes (Gp 2) 2yo 7f - Moyglare Stud Stakes (Gp 1)
23rd August Futurity Stakes (Gp 2) 2yo 7f - Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Gp 1)
23rd August Royal Whip Stakes (Gp 3) 3yo+ 10f - QIPCO Irish Champions Stakes (Gp 1)
23rd August Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (Gp 3) 3yo+ 14f - Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger (Gp 1)
27th August Fairy Bridge Stakes (Gp 3) 3yo+ 71/2f - Coolmore Matron Stakes (Gp 1)
30th August Dance Design Stakes (Gp 3) 3yo+ 9f - Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes (Gp 2)
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