BRITISH HORSERACING’S 2010 FIXTURE LIST IS PUBLISHED

23 Jul 2009 Pre-2014 Releases

BRITISH HORSERACING’S 2010 FIXTURE LIST

The British Horseracing Authority today publishes the Fixture List for 2010. The total number of fixtures programmed for 2010 is 1503, up 13 on 2009, when including the 10 extra fixtures added to the 2009 Fixture List as part of the 48th Levy Scheme agreement.

This increase is the result of opportunities identified in the 2008 Strategic Review of Fixture List, namely:

• Fixtures on each of the six customer-friendly evenings in August that previously included no racing
• Three self-funded fixtures – two on Bank Holidays (Musselburgh on New Year’s Day and Towcester on the Spring Bank Holiday) and one at Perth to coincide with the Perth 800 celebrations on 21st August.

The 2010 fixture list comprises:

• 913 Flat and 590 Jump fixtures (2009: 919 and 571 respectively). Flat fixtures include 611 Turf fixtures and 302 AWT fixtures (2009: 590 and 329 respectively);
• 1,203 Racecourse fixtures, 259 BHA fixtures and 41 Self-Funded fixtures (2009: 1,203, 249 and 38 respectively);
• 1,135 afternoon fixtures, 261 evening fixtures during the main period of evening racing, and 107 floodlit winter evening fixtures (2009: 1,131, 248 and 111 respectively).

Britain’s newest racecourse, Ffos Las, will stage 28 fixtures in 2010, including Saturday afternoons in January and March, and a three-day Flat meeting in August.

Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“Although total horse numbers are currently down by 2% compared with 2008, the demand from the horse population for opportunities to race continues to exceed the opportunities provided by the fixture list, as illustrated by the fact that there were over 6,500 eliminations in the first half of 2009. It also remains the fact that 6 of the top 10 races took place in this country and that our reputation for quality remains as strong as ever.

“It is pleasing that we have made progress in a number of areas highlighted by the Strategic Review of the Fixture List. This includes adding two new Bank Holiday fixtures and a special fixture to coincide with ‘The Perth 800’ celebrations, as well as improving the balance between turf and all-weather fixtures during the main Flat season, with 21 previously all-weather fixtures switching to turf venues.

“Jump racing continues to thrive and 2010 sees a record number of fixtures – 590 from 571, this increase arising partly out of our desire to ensure that there are no afternoons during the core Jump season with more than one AWT fixture.

“Yet there remains a considerable concern that we have not been able to make more progress in other areas of the fixture list, particularly when it comes to working out the place racing is now playing in the modern betting market, and having an open and transparent partnership with betting operators. Real information on which we can best plan our fixture list to take account of betting revenues through the Levy is still badly lacking, and we cannot be confident that the fixture list is as it should be. We have in many ways had to place our trust in what we have been told by betting operators through the Levy Board.

“However, there is a real question over whether we should be running this number of fixtures, at the times they are running, with the current central funding, in order to maximise the return to the sport. Our overall view remains that the current relationship between racing and betting through the Levy process is badly broken, and needs to change radically. The fact is that the Levy return is the lowest since 2003, with no confidence that this can be reversed, and in that time the fixture list has expanded from 1,270 to 1,503 with an increased demand on people and the sport’s finances. There are many complex issues involved, but we have grave reservations that this is simply not sustainable and will have to keep very close attention on developments.”

For further information please contact Paul Struthers, Media Relations Manager, on 020 7189 3866 or 07966 590105.

The 2010 Fixture List is published on our website here:
http://www.britishhorseracing.com/resources/media/fixturelist.asp