Prize money in 1999 hit a record for British racing at more than £69 million, the BHB announced today. Total prize money last year was £69,062,983, an increase of 8.5% on the 1998 figure of £63,658,676.
The increase is a boost to racing’s campaign for self-help measures to improve the finances of British racing. Self-help is a significant element in the BHB’s Financial Plan, alongside the need for a much higher percentage of betting turnover to be returned to racing.
The attached breakdown of the figures shows major increases in contributions from all four sources: the Levy Board, Racecourse Executives and Sponsorship, Owners and the BHB’s Divided Race Fund.
* The Levy Board contribution increased by £3,592,638 (12.4%), the first year-on-year rise since 1995.
* Racecourse Executive and Sponsorship contributions increased by £557,234 (2.3%)
* Owners’ contributions increased by £1,127,211 (10.7%)
* Payments from the BHB Divided Race Fund increased by £126,737 (25.5%)
BHB Racing Director, Paul Greeves, said: “”These figures are extremely encouraging. Alongside a substantial increase in the Levy Board’s contribution, which is up for the first time in four years, racecourses are clearly playing their part with a very significant increase of 60% in Executive/Sponsorship contributions over the seven years since BHB’s inception. Owners’ contributions have actually increased so fast that the burden has become unacceptable, which is why the BHB recently acted to reduce entry fees.””
BHB Chief Executive, Tristram Ricketts, added: “”Prize money is crucial to the prosperity of the entire racing industry, so an increase of the kind confirmed today is good news for racing. It is also substantial reward for the effort devoted to the self-help campaign which is a key element in the Financial Plan. The figures should not, however, be allowed to conceal an underlying reality. Even with prize money at 1999 levels, racehorse owners still lose, on average, over three-quarters of their investment in keep and training costs. That will only be put right when racing succeeds in securing from the betting industry a fair price for its product.””
Michael Harris, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners Association, said: “”While there is a long way to go before prize money returns for owners in Britain reach an acceptable level, today’s figures undoubtedly represent a significant step in the right direction. The figures also show how important it was for the BHB to take steps to
reduce owners’ entry fees for the current year. Overall prize money increases have to be seen in relation to the contribution made by owners.””
Breakdown of Prize Money by Source (£ million) (1993-1999)
MD say’s (the breakdown is shown as a able on the current site – duplicate for the new site)