The next phase in the compilation of the 2015 Fixture List is underway following approval by the BHA Board that the total number of fixtures to be staged next year should be broadly in line with that of 2014.
The Board also approved the allocation of 12 ‘start-up’ fixtures to be scheduled at Chelmsford City in 2015, and gave permission for Newcastle’s Flat turf fixtures to be transferred to an All-Weather surface upon completion of the new track.
Following the initial consultation phase, which included gathering feedback via submissions and direct engagement with the Racing industry and consumers, BHA will now begin the process of working with the racecourses and other relevant parties to determine the precise make-up of the 2015 Fixture List. There was a broad acceptance amongst stakeholders that there should not be a material change to the number of fixtures which comprise the Fixture List, and a strong majority view that the size of the Fixture List should not increase given the current trends in field sizes. As such the number of fixtures for 2015 will not be far removed from the 1,464 fixtures programmed for 2014, with the final number still to be confirmed.
Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for BHA, said:
“Firstly, we would like to place on record our appreciation for the level of participation and constructive engagement in the consultation process, including the wide range of suggestions for opportunities to improve field sizes.
“A number of factors raised in the consultation were taken into account by the Executive and Board when determining what the overall size of the Fixture List should be. These included general concern over the number of small field races and the support of the majority of respondents for maintaining the size of the Fixture List.
“Meanwhile, consultation will continue on the allocation of BHA controlled fixtures and initiatives to address small field sizes, including a possible reduction in the number of total races run in the overall race programme, as proposed by BHA in the consultation document.”
Chelmsford City racecourse has been informed that the BHA Board has approved the pre-allocation of 12 ‘start-up’ fixtures to be scheduled for 2015. Chelmsford City are able to apply for further BHA controlled fixtures via the annual fixture allocation process.
Arena Racing Company (ARC) and Newcastle racecourse have also been informed that the BHA Board have approved for any of Newcastle’s existing Flat turf fixtures to be transferred to their proposed All-Weather track, upon application from the course and subject to the approval of BHA.
BHA will confirm the policy for the allocation of BHA controlled fixtures in August, with the aim being to conclude this process in September. This will follow further engagement with those who made submissions and stakeholders on the allocation method of BHA controlled fixtures, along with initiatives to improve field sizes.
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 objective will be to publish the finalised 2015 Fixture List in early October.
Notes to Editors:
1. The 12 ‘start-up’ fixtures allocated to Chelmsford City will receive a level of funding from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB). Chelmsford City will initially have access to these BHA fixtures for three years assuming they meet certain criteria including the level of racecourse funding allocated. The status of these fixtures will then be determined after this period.
2. Newcastle racecourse has been granted permission to transfer their Flat turf fixtures to the All-Weather track, but this does not mean all fixtures will automatically be transferred to this surface. For example, Newcastle may decide to apply to stage a fixture on the turf Jumps course. This is decision to be made primarily by ARC and Newcastle, in consultation with BHA.
For more information contact:
British Horseracing Authority