The thoroughbred breeding industry in Australia is responsible for generating more than $1.16 billion to the Australian economy and is the second largest in the world. AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program invests in high-impact research, development and extension (RD&E) that improves the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of the Australian thoroughbred industry.

About the Program

AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program invests in RD&E that improves the sustainability, productivity, and competitiveness of the Australian thoroughbred industry.

The Program supports an efficient breeding system that works towards reducing the average number of serves per pregnancy, increasing live foals delivered per mare covered, and increasing the DNA parentage count confirmed each year. The industry values durable horses with long racing careers.

RD&E Plan

AgriFutures Strategic RD&E Plans guide the Program’s investments.

The Interim Thoroughbred Horses RD&E Plan 2017 to 2022 has been refined in 2021 following consultation and a mid-term review. The Plan is structured around five priorities:

  1. Enhancing the welfare and safety of thoroughbred horses, those who work with them and the sustainability of the industry.
  2. Improving breeding outcomes, foal health and development.
  3. Reducing the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites in horses.
  4. Supporting industry training, including Program communication and extension.
  5. Understanding the industry’s economic contribution, and its market, and secure additional R&D resources.

Download the latest version of the Thoroughbred Five Year RD&E Plan 2017 to 2022.

Australia’s thoroughbred horse industry

Australia has the second largest thoroughbred breeding industry in the world, with 660 stud farms all across the country, predominantly in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. These stud farms supply thoroughbred horses to both the domestic and overseas markets. Around 14,000 foals are produced every year and the thoroughbred breeding industry is worth more than $1.16 billion/year to the Australian economy.

Australian thoroughbred breeding is a vital partner to the Australian racing industry. Thoroughbred racing in Australia generates approximately $9.1 billion of value-added impact to the Australian economy. This includes employment of around 72,000 people who are mostly in rural and regional areas of Australia, with approximately 38,000 horses in training.

Funding

The AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program is funded by the statutory thoroughbred horses levy and voluntary industry contributions. The levy was established in 2017 and is set at a rate of $10/mare covered, paid by the stallion owner and $10/mare returned by the broodmare owner. AgriFutures Australia also receives matching funding from the Australian Government, allocated to the Program at 50c per dollar of the program’s eligible expenditure.

RD&E investments are guided by strategic RD&E Plan and RD&E priorities and investment recommendations are made by the Thoroughbred Horses Program Advisory Panel.

Download latest income and expenditure statement

Australian primary industries that choose to invest in the levies system prescribe the amount of levy or charge applied to a commodity under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999, Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.

AgriFutures Australia receives the research and development (R&D) levy allocation to invest in line with the industry objectives of the respective program’s Strategic Plan. The Levy is collected and distributed via the Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment website.

Industry Advisory Panel

The AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program is overseen by the Thoroughbred Horses Program Advisory Panel.

AgriFutures Australia partners with its key levied agricultural industries for the delivery of RD&E through Industry Advisory Panels. These panels perform key tasks to guide and assist AgriFutures Australia with investments, including:

  1. Advising on the industry requirements for research and development through the development and monitoring of RD&E Plans
  2. Advising on proposals for RD&E investment in accordance with the objectives and strategies of industry-specific RD&E Plans
  3. Monitoring, reviewing and advising on research support for the relevant industry
  4. Advising on, and assisting in, the dissemination, adoption and commercialisation of the results of RD&E activities.

Industry Advisory Panels are representative of the RD&E programs implemented by AgriFutures Australia. Panel members are selected on a skills-basis and may contribute with capacities in strategic management, governance, industry-specific knowledge, science, technology, leadership and ethics. AgriFutures Australia encourages diversity through age, gender and geographic location, working with specific industry sectors to foster leadership skills to support succession planning for future panel members.

Members of AgriFutures Australia’s Advisory Panels are selected following a public recruitment process which involves a competitive skills-based assessment and/or consultation with key industry bodies and stakeholders.

Program news

Contact

Annelies McGaw
Manager, Research
02 6923 6913
0407 987 738
Annelies.McGaw@agrifutures.com.au

Industry associations

About your levy

Australian primary industries that choose to invest in the levies system prescribe the amount of levy or charge applied to a commodity under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.

Levy and charge revenue can be directed to biosecurity preparedness and emergency plant pest and animal disease responses, residue testing, marketing and research and development. It is the decision of a primary industry to determine the proportion of how a levy or charge is directed to each of these activities.

The Levy is collected and distributed via the Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment website.

AgriFutures Australia also receives Commonwealth matching funding based on 0.5% of the aggregate GVP of all AgriFutures Australia’s levied industries (Arena 3) or half of AgriFutures Australia’s eligible expenditure – whichever is the lesser. This includes expenditure in non-levied industries Arenas 1, 2 and 4 irrespective of their funding source.

AgriFutures Australia’s Board allocates the Commonwealth matching funding to each levied industry program. The respective programs will receive 50c per dollar of eligible expenditure (subject to availability of Commonwealth matching funding).

The total program budget comprises of the R&D levy allocation, Commonwealth matching funding (allocated by the AgriFutures Australia Board) and third party contributions (where appropriate). The graphs below represent the levy breakdown and the annual Program investment.

View the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program income and expenditure statement for 2020-21.

Related Publications

24.06.22

Thoroughbred horses stakeholder mapping and communications preferences

24.06.22

An economic evaluation of investment in AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program projects (2017-2022)

22.06.22

Final report summary: Improved bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing

05.04.22

RD&E investment to support the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of the Australian thoroughbred industry

Latest News and Events

01.07.22

Fast tracking the next generation of thoroughbred horse breeders

A world-class program is helping to secure the future of the thoroughbred breeding industry by equipping the next generation of workers for an exciting and rewarding career. 

02.03.22

Concussion and stress research puts jockey safety in the saddle

New research funded by AgriFutures Australia’s (AgriFutures) Thoroughbred Horses Program and Racing Victoria aims to reduce workplace health risks by changing the way a jockey is monitored after a concussion to better inform their recovery and return to the track.