Every single industry trading in Britain has wondered about the potential cost Brexit will bring and horse racing in that regard is no different.
After Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was voted down in parliament on Tuesday night, more was revealed as to what racing in the UK may face hereafter and it’s a worry for the sport’s administrators.
If Britain leaves the European Union without a deal in place, the country would have to apply for what is called Listed Third Country Status for things such as export health certification. There is no telling how long this could take, affecting trainers wishing to send horses to places like France and Ireland for major races.
Alongside this is the fact that even domestically, regulations currently undertaken under EU law for horse identification and transport will need to be replaced or at least replicated under UK law.
Although no tariffs will be placed on purebred breeding animals, which luckily includes ‘full’ thoroughbred horses, geldings in that case may be subject to rates of 11.5% when being transported for racing or sold on which affects day-to-day training for larger trainers and has a huge impact on sales.
We’ve already reported on the current crisis in terms of a shortage of stable workers in the UK and as more and more foreign workers are needed in the industry, Brexit naturally curtails their freedom to travel to one degree or another and that is a direct threat to some training operations.
Lastly, despite many people having no sympathy for bookmaker greed, those trading from places like Malta and Gibraltar face a wait to find out whether being licensed there continues to allow them access to the British market. If not, shorter odds, higher overrounds or possibly even less competition in the market place can become a reality. It doesn’t bare thinking about.