12/08/2005 1:00AM

Irish stud business dealt tax blow


The Irish stallion business received a blow Wednesday when the nation's finance minister announced that Ireland will abolish its 36-year policy of not taxing stallion income.

In a budget speech for 2006, Finance Minister Brian Cowen said stallions' tax-free status would end on July 31, 2008, according to the Racing Post. The announcement follows a January 2005 complaint from the European Commission that the Irish tax system, including the stud fee exemption, was anti-competitive and illegal.

The move will affect approximately 400 stallions in Ireland, including those at Coolmore Stud, which has the headquarters of its global stallion operation there. Coolmore has 21 stallions advertised for 2006 at its Irish base, including the highly successful Sadler's Wells.