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Victoria Overhauls its House owners’ and Breeders’ Incentives

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Australia’s oldest and richest breeder and proprietor bonus program, the profitable Victorian House owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme, has undergone a big rebrand—its greatest overhaul in three many years.

The scheme, price greater than AU$30 million (US$20.47 million) within the season, will permit any VOBIS-eligible horse (now referred to as Silver) to be upgraded to the Gold and Platinum classes, the latter restricted to the progeny of paid-up Victorian VOBIS-eligible stallions, which incorporates however will not be restricted to: Written Tycoon , Shamus Award, Magnus Rich Enuff, and Fierce Impact , who are all standing in the southern state in 2023.

There is AU$13 million up for grabs in bonuses for Silver-category horses, AU$21.75 million for paid-up Gold horses, and more than AU$30 million for Platinum-eligible thoroughbreds.

Buyers of a VOBIS yearling, for instance, can pay AU$1,100 to upgrade their VOBIS Silver horse to either the Gold or Platinum categories—spending on their sire in a not-too-dissimilar fashion to how a horse is paid up for the Magic Millions, Inglis, or New Zealand Bloodstock race series schemes.

Racing Victoria, outlined July 17 the rebranding of the important VOBIS scheme, a key driver of racehorse ownership for Victorian trainers and the state’s breeding industry.

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“The VOBIS program is the richest owners’ and breeders’ incentive scheme in the nation offering more than AU$30 million in prize money, bonuses, and vouchers this season,” said RV executive general manager of racing Matt Welsh.

“VOBIS has been a valuable part of Victoria’s racing and breeding industries for nearly 30 years, and it will enter the 2023-24 racing and breeding seasons with a new and simplified look.

“There’s now a much clearer pathway from VOBIS Silver onto VOBIS Gold and VOBIS Platinum with greater rewards available for those who race the progeny of a VOBIS sire and thus support the Victorian breeding industry. The revamped VOBIS program will continue to incentivize new and existing investment in the Victorian breeding industry and reward those who breed, buy, own, and race in Victoria.”

Victoria’s stud farms and breeders, in part, fund elements of the VOBIS initiative, including the AU$1 million The Showdown (1,200 meters) for 2-year-olds and the AU$500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas (1,600 meters) for 3-year-olds in April each year, through levies on service fees.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria president James O’Brien welcomed the simplification of VOBIS.

“The beauty is you can go to a sales ring, you can see it’s VOBIS Silver and straight away you know you can upgrade it to Gold or Platinum level for a cost of AU$1,100 and you are racing for many more riches,” O’Brien told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“If I am racing horses in Victoria, why would I rob myself of the opportunity to compete for an extra AU$30 million by not buying a VOBIS horse?”

The rebranding comes a year after AU$7.5 million was invested in VOBIS via AU$30,000 VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers that can be won across 250 races each season.

The AU$30,000 vouchers, the result of a joint venture between RV, TBV, and the Victorian government, are distributed on a percentage basis depending on the person’s shareholding and it can be used to reinvest in the progeny of a VOBIS Sires stallion or to help cover the service fee of an eligible Victorian stallion.

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