The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Horsemen’s Group today announced that the process of instigating Prize Money Agreements between racecourses, the Horsemen’s Group and BHA has been completed for 2014, with a total of 39 racecourses signing three-year agreements.
This figure has been achieved following the signing of Prize Money Agreements by eight further racecourses, with seven joining the Standard Tier and Ripon signing a Premier level agreement. In addition to the 39 courses who have signed, a further 14 courses operated by Arena Racing Company (ARC) have already made a one-year prize money commitment to BHA, which means that 53 of the 58 British courses have either signed Prize Money Agreements or made firm commitments relating to their prize money contributions.
Five racecourses – Catterick, Hexham, Plumpton, Redcar and Towcester – have not signed a Prize Money Agreement. The circumstances relating to each of these courses have been explained to the Horsemen’s Group and four of the courses via the Racecourse Association and Towcester separately are in discussions with BHA regarding their final commitments to prize money for next year.
Philip Freedman, Chief Executive of the Horsemen’s Group, said:
“I would like to thank the 39 racecourses who have signed Prize Money Agreements. For many it has been a complicated process and we acknowledge and appreciate their efforts. It is now the responsibility of those concerned, horsemen, BHA and racecourses, to ensure that the signatories see the benefits of this groundbreaking initiative which is intended to deliver new levels of trust and co-operation between us all.
“Together with BHA, we set out on this process with the objective of achieving a significant uplift in prize money through the development of a collaborative approach between racecourses and Horsemen, as well as ensuring that a racecourse’s own payment of prize money became a contractual commitment rather than a discretionary payment. As a result of the signing of these Prize Money Agreements, together with other increases the process has yielded, the anticipated uplift will hit its target, with racecourse’s contribution increasing by almost £5m. That is welcome news for all of the sport’s participants.”
By signing the three-year deals, these racecourses have agreed to enter a partnership with the Horsemen’s Group which commits each of the parties to working together, not only in terms of a racecourse’s prize money contribution but also in a range of areas designed to bring benefits to all in the sport.
Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the BHA, said:
“We are pleased that a total of 39 racecourses have now signed Prize Money Agreements. By doing so they have exhibited an understanding of the advantages of aligning their interests to those of the Horsemen’s Group for the next three years and the mutual benefits this will bring all within the Racing industry.
“We will be engaging with the remaining five racecourses so as to fully understand their position and why they could not sign ahead of 2014.”
Stephen Atkin, Chief Executive of the RCA, said:
“The RCA has been assisting the independent racecourses with their separate but parallel discussions with the Horsemen’s Group and BHA. Whilst it has been a time-consuming process, we are pleased with the progress made and it is good news that a further eight courses are now in a position to sign Prize Money Agreements.
“We are in constructive dialogue with the Horsemen’s Group and BHA regarding the remaining four RCA members, each of whom in the coming weeks are due to make firm prize money commitments to BHA for 2014.”
The further eight racecourses signing Agreements means that all racecourses who have been allocated BHA controlled fixtures in 2014 have now signed either an Agreement or commitment to prize money contributions. As such BHA can now confirm that the 2014 Fixture List, as published on 10 October 2013, is set in stone.
Notes to Editors:
1. The eight further racecourses to have signed Prize Money Agreements are Ripon, who have signed at the Premier tier, and Fakenham, Leicester, Newton Abbot, Stratford, Taunton, Thirsk and Wetherby who have all signed at the Standard tier.
2. The following racecourses or groups have now signed Prize Money Agreements with the Horsemen’s Group and BHA:
Ascot – Premier
Ayr – Standard
Beverley – Standard
Cartmel – Standard
Chester / Bangor Group – Premier
Fakenham – Standard
Ffos Las – Standard
Goodwood – Premier
Hamilton – Standard
Jockey Club Group – Premier
Kelso – Standard
Leicester – Standard
Ludlow – Standard
Musselburgh – Standard
Newbury – Premier
Newton Abbot – Standard
Perth – Standard
Pontefract – Premier
Ripon – Premier
Salisbury – Standard
Stratford – Standard
Taunton – Standard
Thirsk – Standard
Wetherby – Standard
York – Premier
3. In addition, the ARC racecourse group has also signed a one-year prize money commitment with the BHA: http://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/arc-commit-to-substantial-prize-money-increase/
4. 4. BHA published the 2014 Fixture List on 10 October 2013. Details of the Fixture List can be found here: http://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/british-racings-2014-fixture-list-published/
5. For further information on Prize Money agreements visit: http://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/racecourses-sign-prize-money-agreements/
6. BHA has a key role to play as regulator and mediator in ensuring that a racecourse’s prize money contribution meets the levels agreed over the course of a year. In addition, it will be BHA policy that signatory courses will be best placed to take advantage of both leasehold and replacement fixtures allocated by the BHA.
For more information contact:
British Horseracing Authority