British horseracing’s industry strategy

Work is underway to develop an industry strategy for British horseracing. The strategy work is being coordinated by the BHA, on behalf of and in collaboration with all those working in and involved with the racing industry.  The need for a long-term plan

British racing’s leaders recognise the shared challenges facing the sport and the need to work together to address them.

From areas like more prize money and competitive field sizes, through horse welfare and the needs of racing’s people, and attracting the next generation of owners, investors, and customers – collective action is needed to grow our industry.

The strategy is an opportunity to shape racing’s future and strengthen our position as a world-leader in thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Governing on behalf of the whole sport

To achieve this, industry leaders agree that we need to be able to make clear, evidence-based decisions in the best interests of the sport as a whole.

The BHA has been empowered, through changes to racing’s governance structure, to lead the sport on behalf of its major stakeholders – owners, breeders, jockeys, trainers, stable employees, and racecourses.

These governance changes have paved the way for the development of racing’s long-term plan.

The key areas of focus

The key priority areas for racing’s strategy are integral to racing’s long-term growth and success.

Some of these areas are well established, with a great deal of work already underway and clear timelines for delivery. Others will continue to be refined in the months and years ahead.

Objectives and targets will be developed in each of these areas as the strategy progresses, with input from individuals and organisations from across the industry, to ensure we have the right structures, people and expertise in place to deliver them.

We have also listed below the enablers that will support and facilitate activity in each priority area.

Major developments

Premier Racedays

Premier Racedays have been introduced to showcase the best quality British racing product and grow interest in the sport through betting turnover, attendance, and general engagement with the sport.

170 Premier Racedays have been programmed in 2024, underpinned by criteria around prize money and the quality of racing. They have the intention of delivering consistent, high-quality racing which can be differentiated from the rest of the fixture list and better promoted to showcase the sport to new and existing audiences. 

Premier Racedays, which have their own visual identity that will visible across racecourses, racecards, broadcast, betting and promotional material, include all racing’s marquee events (Cheltenham, Grand National, Derby, Royal Ascot) and major festivals.

More information on Premier Racedays can be found in the Premier Raceday summary document.

2024 Fixture List

The 2024 Fixture List includes significant customer-focused innovations designed to deliver a more competitive, engaging and exciting racing product.

As well as the introduction of Premier Racedays, the 2024 Fixture List includes major investment to help strengthen Sunday racing and a focus on increasing competitiveness across the fixture list. A summary of the main headline changes within the 2024 Fixture List can be found here.

All of the changes to the 2024 Fixture List have been introduced on a two-year trial basis and the measures against which the progress of the trial will be assessed can be read here.


Horse Welfare

Our collective lifetime responsibility to all horses bred for racing. 

These initiatives are set out in the industry’s comprehensive welfare strategy – A Life Well Lived – with many projects already in progress, led by the Horse Welfare Board operating alongside the BHA as the sport’s regulatory body, and our racecourses, participants and funders.

A recently announced Racing Foundation funding grant of £3 million over three years will help accelerate progress in supporting cross-industry projects around safety, data, and traceability.


Recruiting and retaining a high-performing, diverse and inclusive workforce.

We must ensure racing remains an appealing and fulfilling industry in which to work. This means prioritising the wellbeing, development and retention of everyone employed across the sport, while attracting new talent by promoting the great benefits of a career in racing.

Racing will take a coordinated approach to our people, driven by a new Industry People Board. 

Chaired by Neil Hayward and funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board and Racing Foundation, the People Board will bring together the various people-related initiatives, with the aim of supporting, developing and future-proofing racing’s workforce.


World-class integrity and regulation, both on and off the racecourse.

Ensuring the sport is safe, clean and fair, and giving our participants, investors and customers confidence in the integrity of British racing, will continue to be at the heart of our work

This means a professional and consistent approach to raceday regulation; the strongest possible human and equine anti-doping measures; robust safeguarding and wellbeing regimes; and well-managed investigations, with efficient case management.

While the core of British racing’s integrity function is already well developed, we must ensure that it keeps pace with any developments in the racing product, as well as identifying areas for ongoing innovation and improvement.


Ownership is the lifeblood of British racing and the owner voice will be at the heart of racing’s plan.

Improving the owner experience, ensuring they feel engaged, valued, and rewarded for their investment is central to racing’s strategy. We must also grow the number of owners and horses in training, promoting the benefits of ownership and the different types available.

Any focus on ownership has to be a cross-industry effort, to ensure that owners are recognised and rewarded across every touchpoint. We will bring together existing work, identifying any gaps and ensuring there is a single, coordinated and well-resourced plan.


Increasing the returns from betting and working with operators to support a thriving racing industry.

Through the work on the racing product, there is an opportunity to work more closely with betting operators and customers to ensure the best financial return to British racing, using data and insight from customer behaviour to drive increased engagement and activity, aligned to our restructured racing product.

We will continue to work on potential development of the Horserace Betting Levy to secure an appropriate and fair return from betting activity, both domestically and overseas – enhancing the sustainability and international competitiveness of our sport.

Product presentation

How we present racing to the world and promote our major assets. 

British racing and breeding are blessed with significant assets – the prestige of our major events, quality of our horses and skill of our participants.

Working with broadcasters, media partners and others we must maximise promotional opportunities to engage key audiences with our racing, our personalities and our equine stars; creating more compelling, engaging, innovative and interactive content that appeals across our various customer bases.


How we appeal to new and existing fans – understanding what our different customers want.

The sport already engages with a broad range of audiences, whether on the racecourse, through TV and social media, and via a range of community initiatives.

Our focus here will be on retaining and engaging existing supporters, through a compelling racing product, while simultaneously attracting new, younger and more diverse audiences – minimising barriers to involvement, including through the management of reputational risk.


Promote and secure more investment in British racing, both domestic and overseas.

Britain is recognised globally as a world-leader in thoroughbred racing and breeding – and as such has proved an enticing prospect for investors. But we cannot rest on our long-held reputation.

We need to build on existing initiatives and invest in an ambitious plan to grow high-level overseas involvement and investment at the sales and in British-bred bloodstock; increase the number of international owners with horses in training; attract more internationally trained horses to compete in our races; and expand high-level sponsorship throughout British racing.

Corporate social responsibility

Enhancing racing’s positive impact and its role as force for good.

Racing already has a positive impact on society and recognises its responsibility to do good, for instance through areas such as community and non-profit initiatives.

We will work with those already working in this area to consider what more could be done, and how best to organise ourselves to do it.


Every element of racing’s industry strategy will be underpinned by the following enablers, which are consistent themes and will help support and inform work across each of the priority areas listed above:A high-quality and sustainable British breeding industry – to grow the number of horses in training, support a diverse and competitive race programme, retain the best quality stallions and mares in Britain and continually attract ongoing investment.

A diverse and inclusive industry  – creating a sport that reflects wider society and gives everyone an opportunity to fulfil their potential, no matter their background. This will build on the work of the industry’s Diversity in Racing Steering Group, supporting people to feel included, valued and welcome.

Responding to environmental challenges – understanding and mitigating the risks presented by a changing climate, adapting our operations and seizing opportunities, so that we safeguard our horses, people and businesses. Some of the progress in this space is detailed in the industry’s environmental audit, which will be used to help inform long-term planning.

Robust data and insightto provide a strong evidence-base for more informed decision-making. This includes improved sharing of existing information for use in the best interests of the sport as a whole.

Clear communications and ongoing engagement – to build understanding, trust and confidence in the sport’s objectives and progress; keeping people informed and encouraging a strong sense of support and ownership for racing’s strategy as the work develops.