Firstly, with the current high value of Sterling versus the €uro (and likely to remain high for the foreseeable future), french horses, training facilities, and stud farms have never been such good value. Owners and breeders get a free pass-card which entitles them to free entry at any french racetrack on any day (regardless of whether they have a runner or not!). Owners are also refunded the transport costs when their horse races; Going racing in France is a truly cheap and enjoyable experience. Finally, the best reason of all - the prize money; french racing still enjoys one of the highest prize money environments in the world. Prize money is normally paid down to fifth place. In addition to this prize money, owners and breeders of french bred horses qualify for an extra payment known as Premiums or “Primes”
Owners Premiums (on flat prize money in races not restricted to french breds):
For races outside France:
Flat - 10% up to a limit of €15,000 per horse in any one year, for all winners (of races of minimum value €4,600) and those placed first and second in Group Races.
Jumps -15% up to a limit of €46,000
per horse in any one year, payable on ALL prize money.
What is a french-bred horse?
Horses born and raised in France are obviously considered to be french, and thus qualify for the owners and breeders premiums. In certain circumstances horses can be classified as french (assimilie) even if they are born abroad. The conditions are thus: a foal born abroad is considered french if its mare left France after November 1st of the year before its birth, and the foal is bought back to France with its dam before September 1st of the following year (baring exceptional circumstances such as foot and mouth restrictions, for example). The foal then has to stay in France until June 1st of its yearling life, except for temporary exportation (not more than one month). In contrast, a foal born in France retains its french status if it was registered before leaving France and returns by September 1st of the year of its birth.