The British Horseracing Authority today confirms that it plans to release the details of the 2011 Fixture List by the 23rd September. This follows last week’s meeting of the British Horseracing Authority Board and the subsequent meeting of the Levy Board, together with detailed dialogue with the Racecourse Association and Horsemen’s Group. The unprecedented delay in publishing the Fixture List, which is normally unveiled in late July, is just one result of the dramatic collapse in Levy yield forecasts which are predicted if considerable changes are not made for the 50th Levy Scheme.
The BHA Board had to make a decision on the allocation of around 250 fixtures known as BHA fixtures. It has decided to suspend the allocation of around 150 of these fixtures, and this will only be reconsidered if racecourses and the Horsemen’s Group agree a basis for their allocation and make a proposal to the Board.
BHA ‘twilight’ fixtures will be made available for allocation between January to April and September to December on the basis that the average prizemoney at each fixture is not less than £3,000 per race. The 16 fixtures allocated to Ffos Las as a new racecourse will also continue.
The BHA will consider applications by racecourses for Self-Funded fixtures on Bank Holidays and to coincide with special events. Existing Self-Funded ‘Enterprise’ fixtures may continue providing that the previously announced prizemoney requirements for 2011 are met.
Any other exceptional applications to stage Self-Funded fixtures would be considered by the Board, taking into account racecourse and horsemen considerations, as well as operational, horse population and all other relevant factors.
The Levy Board has decided to provide prizemoney contributions for approximately 1,300 fixtures, including funding for four fixtures on a Saturday (two of which will only receive 50% of normal funding) and two fixtures on a Sunday.
Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for the British Horseracing Authority, said:
“The challenges for Racing at this time are great and planning for 2011 has been the most difficult in my experience, as I’m sure it has been for the racecourses and the horsemen. We have made progress on a number of issues, but inevitably there is still much to be done in order to finalise the Fixture List for next year, which we must do in order to create a framework for the sport.
“There remain a number of issues to face and there will be more difficult decisions we will have to take as matters develop. Once the number of fixtures is set, we can then begin to look at minimum prize money values and the race programme, though this in itself will be a further challenge with the current forecast Levy yield of £70 million inadequate and unsustainable.”