2015 Fixture List consultation concludes

02 Jul 2014 Racing/Fixtures

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) would like to convey its thanks to the Racing industry and stakeholders for contributions to the 2015 Fixture List consultation, which has now closed.

The wide-ranging consultation had the objective of seeking feedback from the sport’s stakeholders and consumers on a range of proposals being developed for the 2015 Fixture List, including the allocation process, with a particular focus on addressing the recent and significant decline in field sizes and increased number of small fields, across all codes.

The consultation document set out that although in 2008 there was virtually the same number of fixtures run as in 2013, there were 652 more races run with 10,146 races in 2013 compared to 9,494 in 2008. This increase in races has coincided with a significant decline in the horse population of well over 1,500 horses. The consultation process set out a number of proposals for discussion, as well as sought input from stakeholders as to how to address this decline and ensure the long-term health and competitiveness of British Racing.

Paul Bittar, Chief Executive for BHA, said:

“We are grateful for the commitment that stakeholders have shown to this process in what we acknowledge was a short timeframe, as well as for the quality of responses that have been produced.

“A wide range of constructive submissions have been received, many of which included interesting ideas and proposals which warrant further consideration.

“These responses will now form part of the development of the 2015 Fixture List. We will continue to consult with all relevant parties and it is our intention to provide clarity in the short-term to the industry on the headline number of fixtures that will be taking place in 2015. However, engagement will continue on the allocation of BHA fixtures and initiatives to address small field sizes, including a possible reduction in the number of total races run as proposed by the BHA in the consultation document.”

At its meeting next Tuesday the BHA Board will review an initial summary of the responses received to the key questions in the consultation. BHA’s intention is then to confirm the size of the 2015 Fixture List in the coming weeks, facilitating the opening of the first round of fixture moves for racecourse fixtures. There will be further engagement with those who made submissions and stakeholders on the allocation method of BHA fixtures, along with initiatives to improve field sizes. This will then be followed in August by the announcement of the BHA fixture allocation policy and the opening of this process, with the aim being to conclude this process by early September.

Following this, BHA will update the industry on initiatives which have been agreed to improve field sizes, including actions relating to the number of races. The self-funded fixture allocation process will then open and the objective will be to publish the finalised 2015 Fixture List in early October.

Notes to Editors:

1. The press release announcing the launch of the Fixture List consultation, including detailed quotes from Paul Bittar, can be found here: http://www.britishhorseracing.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/BHA-launches-consultation-on-the-2015-Fixture-List-4cd.aspx

2. The average field size in British Racing has fallen from 11.0 in 2005 to 9.0 in 2013 and while in more recent years the number of fixtures has not increased, the number of races run has.

3. Responses were received from the following:

Horsemen’s Group
Racehorse Owners Association
National Trainers Federation
Professional Jockeys Association
Thoroughbred Breeders Association
National Association of Stable Staff
Racecourse Association
Arena Racing Company
Jockey Club Racecourses
Large Independent racecourses
Independent racecourses limited
Catterick racecourse
Chelmsford City racecourse
Fakenham racecourse
Ffos Las racecourse
Hamilton Park racecourse
Ludlow racecourse
Musselburgh racecourse
Perth racecourse
Pontefract racecourse
Thirsk racecourse
Wetherby racecourse
Horserace Betting Levy Board
At The Races
Racecourse Media Group
Turf TV
Federation of Racecourse Bookmakers
Bookmakers Committee
+ a number of interested individual parties

For more information contact:

Robin Mounsey
British Horseracing Authority
e: [email protected]