Consultation into the regulation of shared ownership to identify risks and how these can be addressed to launch on 3 September

03 Sep 2020 BHA Features Financial/Political

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced the launch of a consultation into the regulation of shared ownership, to identify the current risks and opportunities and how these can be addressed to promote growth and consumer confidence in Syndicates and Racing Clubs.

The consultation forms part of one of the nine key goals for British racing’s recovery plan published last week, which aims to retain key investors by reforming the Rules for shared ownership to protect existing owners and increase the appeal for potential new ones.

Launching on 3 September, the project will look to help ensure that the regulation of shared ownership meets the needs of the sport’s participants and will investigate key areas including how:

  • Current registration structures can best support evolving ownership models;
  • Prospective owners can make well informed decisions about shared ownerships;
  • Shared ownership currently aligns to expectations;
  • Regulation could be strengthened to mitigate risks and promote growth;
  • Appropriate information is held about those involved in shared ownerships.

The consultation process will be open to all who wish to take part and will take the form of an online survey which will run for eight weeks from today. The consultation can be accessed here:

Following completion of the consultation, responses will be analysed and recommendations will be drafted for discussion with industry stakeholders, ahead of being considered by the BHA Board. It is intended for final decisions to be published in early 2021.

Richard Wayman, BHA Chief Operating Office, said:

“The acquisition and retention of racehorse owners has never been more crucial to the future prospects of British Racing.

“Shared ownership is an affordable and fun way to enjoy racehorse ownership and has been steadily on the rise in recent years. As the number of people involved in, as well as managing, Syndicates and Racing Clubs increases, though, the associated risks invariably increase too.

“In recent years, we have seen a small number of incidents both in Great Britain and abroad, which have highlighted the risks posed by shared ownerships which are not properly run. While the vast majority of Syndicates and Racing Clubs operate scrupulously and, in fact, work to drive up standards, it is critical for continued growth that the public retain trust in shared ownership and all those involved are sufficiently protected.

“This consultation provides an opportunity for us to work proactively by gathering feedback from those with experience of shared ownership as well as the wider racing industry. It will allow us to build on the Syndicate Code of Conduct launched in 2017 and our existing ownership registration function to ensure regulation meets the needs of our participants and provides a platform from which Syndicates and Racing Clubs can grow their businesses.”

Charlie Liverton, ROA Chief Executive, said:

“This is a welcome and much needed consultation. Obtaining owners’ opinions in order to develop the regulation of syndicates will ensure a fairer playing field for all, that meets the current needs of owners. Shared ownership is an important part of the future of racing so it’s vital that we give syndicate members comfort that they will be supported where issues arise. At a time when the industry needs it most, it is important that we increase the appeal of Syndicates and this consultation is the first step in achieving this goal.”

Dan Abraham, Racehorse Syndicates Association (RSA) Chairman, said:

“With the increasing popularity of group ownership the RSA welcomes the BHA’s approach to gain feedback from those involved in shared ownership. This will provide an opportunity for the BHA to review its current regulations and build on the Code of Conduct for Syndicates, helping ensure appropriate support and guidance is in place for those members and managers involved in Syndicates and Racing Clubs.”