A comprehensive review of British Jump racing, instigated by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), has been published today. The Review Group consisted of individuals from across the industry, who held a six-week consultation with stakeholders to discuss and assess the health and future of the code.
The three objectives of the review were: to assess the health of Jump racing; to identify and examine the threats and challenges faced by Jump racing and create logical and deliverable solutions to these challenges; and to form a long-term strategy for the sport which outlines a path from which future growth and success can be delivered.
Particular areas of focus included the race programme, field sizes, participation, ownership, breeding, horse population, prize money, sales, racecourse attendances, media and betting trends. The review does not deal with specific welfare-related matters, due to its focus on the economics of the sport and the three objectives, as outlined above.
The review outlines four areas of strategy for British Jump racing, which are: improve the finance of Jump racing; increase the supply of horses; improve the opportunities for horses and participants; and promote and be positive about the sport.
The review provides 41 recommendations, categorised by timing of implementation across the four strategy areas, to secure the future health of the sport.
Some recommendations which have already been implemented include the rebalancing of central funding for 2016 and the introduction of the Challenger Series. In addition, the Review Group supported the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) Mare Owners Prize Scheme (MOPS), announced earlier this month, which fits with the aims outlined by the Group for encouraging more mares into Jump racing.
Other key recommendations from the review include: work to enhance the attraction of ownership; a regional breeding programme; a more holistic approach to race planning to further promote the development of horses in Jump racing; the inclusion of earlier opportunities for Jump horses; a reinvigoration of Jump racing in the North; a more proactive approach to Saturday fixtures to deliver programmes of appropriate value; a review of the number of Listed races; and the creation of additional peaks during the season.
Ruth Quinn, the BHA’s Director of International Racing and Racing Development, said:
“This review is the culmination of extensive work from the Review Group and our thanks goes to all those involved throughout the consultation process and the subsequent discussions. We dedicate this work to Alan Lee, racing correspondent for The Times, who sadly passed away over the weekend. Alan had a real passion for Jump racing and many involved in the sport valued his insightful observations and sage counsel.
“There is no doubt that Jump racing is a tremendous asset to British sport. We hope this review – and the recommendations outlined – helps us to safeguard Jumping’s future health and ensure its growth for years to come.”
The review can be seen here.
Notes to editors:
1. The Review Group consisted of: Edward Gillespie (Chair), Nick Alexander, Simon Clare, Niall Hannity, Guy Henderson, Richard Landale, John Maxse, Bryan Mayoh, Donald McCain, Steve Mellish, Lee Mottershead, Seamus Mullins, Ian Renton, Claire Sheppard, Stephen Smith, Jamie Snowden, Nick Sutton, Justin Wadham, Stuart Middleton (BHA), Nigel Roddis (BHA), Russell (BHA), Phil Smith (BHA), Ruth Quinn (BHA).
2. The press release announcing the review can be seen here: