13 Feb 2014 Racing/Fixtures

The Interactive Race Planning initiative, which was launched in March 2012 and originally funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), will now be entirely managed and funded by BHA.

With Interactive Race Planning moving under BHA’s remit an enhanced system of contacting trainers to raise awareness of forthcoming opportunities will be trialled, with the objective of increasing levels of trainer engagement. It will also provide the opportunity to increase awareness about the deadlines for suggested new races.

However, the withdrawal of HBLB funding means that the initiative will now continue on a smaller scale with 50% less Interactive races being scheduled in 2014. The funding will now be provided by BHA’s Development Fund.

Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for BHA said:

“When we launched the Interactive Race Planning initiative, working closely with our stakeholders, the objectives of the scheme were to aid trainers looking for options for hard-to-place horses, to help increase field sizes and to be the first step in a move towards a system whereby the race programme became more closely linked to the current horses-in-training. In addition, it allowed for greater engagement between BHA and trainers about the race programme.

“We are happy that a number of these objectives are being met, and feedback from those trainers who have embraced the system has been largely positive. However, what has been slightly disappointing has been the relatively small number of trainers who have taken this step to involve themselves with the initiative.

“Despite this, BHA are keen to see the programme continue as there are obvious merits to the scheme. We hope that advancements we intend to make to the system itself and the communication around the system will encourage more trainers to take advantage of the opportunity.

“We thank HBLB for their involvement in helping us to establish Interactive Race Planning and their support and funding throughout the first two years of the life of this scheme.”