An all-encompassing review of the fixture list has today been launched by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). This is its first major project. It commences with a request for comments on the areas it is proposed will form part of the review, as well as inviting suggestions for other issues worth including.
The principal objectives of the review, which is published on stage.britishhorseracing.com, will be to identify the sport’s optimal fixture list.
The review starts from the view that British Horseracing means different things to different people, and will approach the fixture list from three key perspectives:
• British Horseracing as a sport
– assessing the current demands of the horse population for opportunities, considering the impact at all levels of the recent expansion in the fixture list and whether opportunities should be provided for horses of all abilities, and, with the assistance of the media, determining how the fixture list could better support the sport’s promotion.
• British Horseracing as a centrepiece for racecourse and other leisure activity
– looking at how the fixture list can best support the commercial aspirations of racecourses by providing opportunities at times that will encourage attendance growth and greater corporate participation in the sport.
• British Horseracing as a betting product
– attempting to identify how the fixture list can maximise the attractiveness of the sport to the betting markets, both domestic and international, by establishing the value of existing fixtures as well as evaluating the potential worth of alternative opportunities.
Initial comments are requested by Friday 29th June 2007, leading to a full report being prepared by the end of July, with respondents then having two months to put forward their detailed views. It is envisaged that a final document will be presented to the BHA Board in November, with the final outcomes forming a major part of planning processes for the 2009 fixture list.
The last substantive fixture list review process was carried out as part of the Racing Review, published in 2003. Responses then illustrated a clear demand for expansion of the fixture list, including from owners, spectators, punters and the betting industry. A key task of the current review will be to determine whether these priorities have changed.
BHA Chief Executive-designate Nic Coward said: “The British Horseracing Authority will be formally up and running very soon, but the review of the fixture list is something that cannot wait.
“The Board wanted to take a different approach. Everyone has the opportunity to have their say.”
Initial responses on the range of questions proposed for the strategic review of the fixture list can be sent to Fixture Review, 151 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AL, or e-mailed to: