BHA launches stakeholder consultation into a more holistic approach to Race Planning

27 Aug 2015 Racing/Fixtures

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today launched a formal consultation for stakeholders into the development of a more holistic approach to Race Planning.

The objective is to determine if an alternative approach to creating the Race Programme can be developed that will better benefit horsemen, racecourses and the wider industry. To achieve this, the BHA will closely liaise with members of the Horsemen’s Group (HG) and the Racecourse Association (RCA) throughout the consultation.

The BHA recognises the need for a Race Programme that is reflective of the requirements of the available horse population, whilst setting out, and enhancing where possible, aspirational campaign opportunities for certain horses. The aim of the review is to evaluate existing methods used to create the Race Programme with the intent of delivering an enhanced programme for participants and one that supports the sport’s key growth areas.

Nick Rust, the BHA’s Chief Executive, said:

“This consultation is an important opportunity for us to review and develop the methods used in the creation of the optimum Race Programme, to suit horsemen, racecourses and the wider industry alike. The benefits of delivering improvements to the Race Programme include a reduction in race clashes and gaps, better use of the available horse population, improvement in field sizes, retention and growth of horses in training, and the delivery of more competitive and compelling racing.

“As part of the industry’s Strategy for Growth we have set the target of adding 1,000 new horses in training by 2020. This consultation paves the way for us to be able to strike the right balance between staging the most appropriate racing opportunities for the horse population, whilst ensuring the Race Programme sets out aspirational career pathways.”

All horsemen and racecourses are urged to take part and are asked to respond to the questions laid out in the consultation document by 5 October through their relevant representative body. These include the Racecourse Association (RCA), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA).

Once responses from industry participants have been received, a working group will be created, comprised of stakeholders, to refine feedback from the wider consultation and make recommendations to be presented to the Executive Committee for deliberation.

At Newbury on 29 September and York on 30 September the RCA will be holding workshops to guide racecourses through the consultation. Representatives from the BHA will liaise with the NTF to arrange attendance at NTF Flat and Jump Council meetings, in addition to organising ad-hoc gatherings with trainers in the training centres during the consultation.

For more information contact: [email protected]


Notes to editors:

1. A copy of the consultation document will be available on the relevant stakeholders’ websites.

2. The document is divided into two sections, the first focuses on defining the optimum Race Programme and the second looks at the processes used to deliver that programme in conjunction with stakeholders.

Questions posed include feedback on the guiding principles to define an optimum Race Programme and any Rules of Racing that may need to be altered to support this; the benefits and challenges regarding the data used to measure and guide the optimum Race Programme; what the right balance is between an aspirational Race Programme and one that precisely matches the available horse population; where campaign pathways can be developed; and the best way to deliver the Race Programme by undertaking a review of existing processes used to compile Programme Books and the Racing Calendar.