BHA, Racecourse Association and Thoroughbred Group agree to develop long-term strategy to tackle poor prize money, declining revenue streams and falling track attendances
- The agreement will see the BHA stay at the heart of the long-term strategy
- Sharper focus has been brought to discussions about poor prize money
- BHA will install a new director of strategy and change as part of the initiative
Racing’s constituent groups have pledged to put aside factional interests and develop a cohesive long-term strategy for a sport on the brink of crisis.
The agreement between the BHA, Racecourse Association and Thoroughbred Group, which represents breeders, jockeys, trainers and owners, will see the BHA stay at the heart of that strategy.
There had been calls for racing’s ruling body to be removed from commercial decisions.
Racing’s constituent groups have agreed a shake-up to tackle the big issues facing the sport
Sharper focus has been brought to discussions about poor prize money which increasingly sees the better horses picked off to race in better-financed jurisdictions.
There are fears that affordability checks on punters after the Government’s gambling review could further dent the sport’s revenue streams via the betting levy, while too few runners for the fixture list is an uncomfortable reality alongside falling track attendances.
Part of the new broom sees structural change at the BHA, who will install a new director of strategy and change.
Joe Saumarez Smith, who takes over as the BHA chair today, said: ‘There is much good work being done by stakeholders but too often it is in isolation.’
Charlie Parker, chair of the Thoroughbred Group, added: ‘This initiative will give the industry a real opportunity to meet the huge challenges we face.’