The BHA can confirm that the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee (MJRC) has not met the conditions set by the BHA for the renewal of its racecourse licence by the required deadline of today, 30 June 2017. This is despite frequent ongoing discussions with the MJRC initiated by the BHA on the issues of concern since late in 2016. Accordingly, Musselburgh racecourse’s licence has, for the time being, lapsed. While discussions continue – and it remains open to the MJRC to reapply for a licence at any time – it is very much in the hands of the MJRC to meet the necessary licence conditions so that racing can continue at Musselburgh.
The BHA understands the need to give horsemen, racecourses, betting operators and the public as much notice about future fixture changes as possible. While the MJRC can reapply for its licence at any time, for the next scheduled fixture to go ahead at Musselburgh on Friday 14 July, the BHA requires a licence to be in place by 6 July in order to give certainty to everyone concerned. That means, should it wish to continue with the fixture on 14 July, the MJRC must provide an unequivocal commitment to meeting the licence conditions by close of business on 6 July. Should that not be forthcoming, the BHA will confirm cancellation of the fixture at that time. In the event that it becomes necessary to cancel this fixture, the BHA does not plan to rearrange it as it falls outside the structure of core, funded fixtures and because there is a high volume of racing available at other tracks throughout this period. The race meeting on 14 July is a third, Friday evening fixture programmed by the BHA primarily to attract more racegoers. We do not feel we could achieve such an objective with a fixture arranged at very short notice.
The next scheduled fixture at Musselburgh after 14 July is Tuesday 25 July. If the MJRC has not made a successful application for its licence by close of business on 14 July, the BHA will take the necessary steps to reallocate this fixture to ensure that there remain two afternoon fixtures on 25 July.