2024 Fixture List delivers innovation aimed at growing British racing

10 Oct 2023 BHA Features Racing/Fixtures

  • 2024 Fixture List delivers significant change in first phase of the long-term industry strategy
  • Initiatives designed to grow the sport, engage new and existing customers and reverse negative trends
  • All changes implemented initially on a two-year trial basis

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today published the 2024 Fixture List, which includes significant customer-focused innovations designed to deliver a more competitive, engaging and exciting racing product.

This includes the running of 170 Premier Racedays, with higher prize money and more top-quality racing featuring our best horses, together with major investment to help strengthen Sunday racing. In addition, much focus has been placed on increasing competitiveness across the fixture list.

The changes aim to grow British racing by increasing engagement among new and existing customers, improve revenues across all areas of the industry, promote investment in the sport through the recruitment and retention of owners, and encourage the best horses to be trained and raced in Britain.

The innovations introduced through the 2024 Fixture List are the first phase of the sport’s new long-term industry strategy and were recommended by its Commercial Committee and approved by the BHA Board.

The changes were agreed as essential to halt the decline in a number of critical areas in the past few years. Crucially, they are part of a data-driven, customer-focused plan for the sport.

The proposals are reliant on funding from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) and the BHA is extremely grateful to the HBLB for helping to bring the changes to fruition.

Industry modelling projects an estimated £90m improvement to British racing’s finances over a five-year period from 2024 to 2028 as a result of the work of the industry strategy, when compared with a ‘do nothing’ scenario, in which industry revenues would continue to decline.

The innovations included in the Fixture List have been introduced on a two-year trial basis. Benchmark measures to assess the success of the trial will be developed, covering a range of factors including economic, attendance, fan and TV audience engagement, betting, ownership, performance of the racing product, customer feedback and participant wellbeing.

The changes will be tested and analysed during the trial and adjustments made where necessary.

The main features of the 2024 Fixture List include:

– 170 “Premier Racedays” will be run in 2024, underpinned by criteria around prize money and quality of racing, and acting as the sport’s main shop window. They will ensure 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.

The significant appetite shown by racecourses to stage these fixtures has resulted in an uplift of around 50% in the number of fixtures which would meet the “Premier Raceday” criteria, compared to 2022.

Premier Racedays will therefore account for approximately 12% of fixtures, and these top-tier days will be supported by significantly enhanced promotion, broadcast innovation and fan engagement, with proposals being developed through the Commercial Committee and more detail to be published in the coming months.

– Investing more prize money, including an additional £3.8m of Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) funding for Premier Racedays. This will comprise both significant additional investment, alongside some redistribution of funds from other fixtures. Minimum race values at non-Premier (Core) fixtures will, however, remain unaltered.

All Premier Racedays will include a minimum number of higher-class races, supplemented by other races providing opportunities for a wide range of horses. Higher minimum prize money values will be in place at Premier Racedays with no races run for less than £20,000 (Flat) and £15,000 (Jumps).

This will aim to keep British racing at the forefront of world racing, attracting and retaining the best horses to be owned, trained and race in Britain.

Premier Racedays on Saturdays being given “room to breathe”, to be better promoted to tell the sport’s stories, improving betting and media rights revenues by creating a “protected window” during which the number of fixtures which can be run is controlled.

– Major investment in improving Sunday racing to take better advantage of both days of the sporting weekend, increasing engagement and revenues while also rewarding the sport’s workforce who service these fixtures.

– Creating a more competitive and engaging racing product through improved field sizes, reducing the size of the Fixture List and race programme – including the removal of 300 Jump races and 20 Jump fixtures – and a raft of further initiatives designed to improve competitiveness.

In addition some initiatives have been introduced which are designed to support the wellbeing of those working in the sport who deliver the racing action year-round.

More detail on the headline areas of development can be found in the Fixture List Headlines Summary document.

To support the delivery of the 2024 Fixture List, overall fixture funding from the HBLB in 2024 will increase by £3.2m. These proposals were recently approved by the HBLB.

Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the BHA, said:

“Compiling this year’s Fixture List was a truly collaborative process on a scale which I have never before seen in our industry, with the sport pulling in the same direction to achieve a shared objective. I am extremely grateful to my teams at the BHA and everyone across the sport who has engaged so constructively in this process.

“There was agreement across the industry that steps were required to increase racing’s appeal to customers at the earliest opportunity, as well as addressing the current headwinds facing the sport.

“We accept and expected that, with significant change, there will always be some who feel that the cards have not fallen their way. However, the objective for these changes is that they grow the sport as a whole, with benefits that reach throughout the entire industry in the medium to long-term.

“This is the first major step in what is a long-term transformational plan. The expectation is that the changes should generate more revenue, which will allow us to invest in other key areas – including attracting new fans and new owners and increasing the reward and recognition of all our existing participants.

“All of these changes are being introduced on a trial basis. They will be closely monitored and measured.”

Joe Saumarez Smith, Chair of the BHA, added:

“There is no doubt that the significant progress made by the industry to deliver these innovations has been made possible by the sport’s new governance structure. It has allowed for bold, positive decisions to be made, while ensuring that the views of everyone affected have been properly considered.

“The simple fact of the matter is this – the sport has to take radical steps if it is to retain its pre-eminent place in British culture and at the pinnacle of world racing. The changes we are introducing for 2024 are a significant first step in this process.”

More comments from the BHA can be found in relation to each of the main areas of change in the Fixture List Headline Summary.



1. The 2024 Fixture List can be found here.

2. A summary of the main headline changes within the 2024 Fixture List can be found here.

3. The breakdown of the 2024 Fixture List shown by code and session is provided below, together with comparative numbers for each of the past six years:

4. The extra £3.2m being contributed by the HBLB is made up of an additional £1.9m into the Premier Raceday Ratecard, £1m into Programme Protection Payments, £0.2m towards extra divisions and £0.1m towards the pilot of Sunday evening fixtures

5. Commercial Committee membership:

  • David Armstrong, RCA Chief Executive
  • Nick Attenborough, PJA Chair
  • Martin Cruddace, ARC Chief Executive
  • Alex Eade, Secretary General, Large Independent Racecourse Group
  • Julie Harrington, BHA Chief Executive
  • Paul Johnson, NTF Chief Executive
  • David Jones (Chair), BHA Senior Independent Director
  • Charlie Liverton, ROA Chief Executive
  • George McGrath, NARS Chief Executive
  • Jonjo Sanderson, as representative of the small independent racecourses
  • Claire Sheppard, TBA Chief Executive
  • Nevin Truesdale, Jockey Club Chief Executive
  • Richard Wayman, BHA Chief Operating Officer