Following a highly successful first season, the British Horseracing Board (BHB) and participating racecourses today launched the search for a title sponsor for the 2005/06 Order of Merit race series.
The Order of Merit is a league designed to support the best races over hurdles and fences during the winter Jump Racing season. Points are scored according to finishing position down to eighth place, with the emphasis on a consistent team performance by horse, owner, trainer and stable staff.
The Order of Merit represents a unique sponsorship opportunity in horseracing. The series provides an ongoing narrative throughout the core of the British Jump Racing season, by encompassing all top-class races from October to April, including races at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National meeting at Aintree. Among many benefits, the title sponsor would receive significant media exposure for the 63 races that make up the series at 17 leading racecourses across 27 weeks, culminating with the Finale Meeting at Sandown Park.
BHB Marketing Director Chris John said: “The inaugural Order of Merit was a resounding success, and it has been especially pleasing to see the series being positively received by the horseracing industry and media alike. We now plan to build on this success, and we’re confident the Order of Merit will be a compelling proposition for any potential sponsor.”
Edward Gillespie, Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse commented: “It is a rare occasion for a sponsorship proposition of this nature to be put on the market for any sport and Jump Racing can deliver terrific value across the winter season. Whoever adds their name to this title will be afforded a warm welcome by everyone in the sport.”
For further information, please contact BHB Sponsorship Executive James Oldring on 020 7152 0047, or visit stage.britishhorseracing.com/orderofmerit.
Notes for Editors
1. The British Horseracing Board (BHB) is the governing body of horseracing in Great Britain.
2. The Order of Merit was launched in October 2004 as a race series designed to encourage the top horses to compete in the top Jumps races more often. The series is jointly promoted by BHB and 17 leading racecourses.
3. During its first season, the Order of Merit carried a prize fund of £300,000.
4. The overall winner of the 2004/05 Order of Merit was Inglis Drever, who amassed 94 points in the series. He raced six times in the season, winning 3 of his races, and coming second three times. His biggest victory came in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2005.
5. Inglis Drever’s victory earned his connections £250,000 in prize money. At the BHB Jump Racing Awards on 16th May 2005, his owners, Andrea and Graham Wylie received £187,500; trainer Howard Johnson received £31,250, and the stable team received £31,250.
6. The top chaser award of £50,000 went to the connections of Azertyuiop, owned by John Hales and trained by Paul Nicholls.