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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Do You Think of the Changes to the Breeders' Cup Nomination Program?

Yesterday, the Breeders' Cup announced some significant changes to its nomination program. The highlights were the following:
  1.  Beginning January of 2011, all foals sired by Breeders’ Cup nominated international stallions will be automatically eligible to participate in Breeders’ Cup races. To qualify for the new program, owners of stallions standing outside North America in the Northern Hemisphere will pay an annual nomination fee equal to 50% of their stallion’s published stud fee and owners of stallions standing in the Southern Hemisphere will pay a nomination fee equal to 25% of their stallion’s published stud fee. Breeders’ Cup’s current North American nominations programs will remain unchanged. 
  2. To jump-start the international nominations program and increase the numbers of eligible runners in the Championships from North America, Breeders’ Cup will offer a special one-time, fee-based “open enrollment” program in 2011 for previously ineligible horses. This open enrollment program will be available from February 1 through June 30, 2011 to any horse sired by stallions nominated to the Breeders’ Cup in 2011 according to the following fee schedule: yearlings for $3,000, two-year-olds for $6,000 and three-year-olds and up for $25,000. 
  3. In connection with the changes in the nominations program, Breeders’ Cup also will enhance the benefits for winning one of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying “Win and You’re In” races by paying the entry fees and subsidizing travel costs to the Championships for all Challenge winners who are Breeders’ Cup eligible. Breeders’ Cup also will pay a new $10,000 award to the nominator of any North American foal that wins a Challenge race.
The changes were designed to increase foreign participation in the Breeders' Cup, making it a more truly international event, and to add more weight to the "Win and You're In" slogan for the Challenge program.

Click here to read the full release from the Breeders' Cup.

It seems unlikely that many North American owners or breeders will have a problem with the third change, but some online grumbling has already begun regarding the changes to international nominations and whether those changes are fair to North American owners and breeders.

What do you think about the changes the Breeders' Cup has made to its nomination program? And why? Let us know.

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