Majority of owners’ fees to remain unchanged for 2016

11 Dec 2015 Financial/Political

  • Majority of owners’ fees for 2016 remain unchanged
  • Structural changes to four fees to facilitate widespread fee freeze

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) today confirms that the majority of owners’ fees for 2016 will remain unchanged, meaning most owners’ fees have only increased once in the last four years.

To facilitate this widespread fee freeze, the BHA has made changes to four fees – either where the charges are optional or where, it is hoped, their introduction will optimise behaviour.

The changes consist of increases to annual and temporary name reservation fees in situations where the name isn’t subsequently registered; re-registration of colours by someone who hasn’t had a horse in training for 18 months; entry handling fees for races outside of Britain; and entries and declarations made over the phone rather than online.

Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the BHA, said:

“Most owners will not see any increase in fees in 2016. Owners that have a horse in training, make entries and declarations online for British races and only reserve names temporarily prior to registering them will be unaffected.

“The charges that will be introduced for 2016 are aimed at encouraging owners and trainers to change behaviour in order to reduce the administrative burden. We estimate an owner with a couple of horses in training can expect to be £50-100 per year better off under our plans than they would be if fees were to increase in line with inflation.

“Racehorse ownership is a significant cost and this freeze goes some way to show our commitment to minimising the administration fees for owners. We recognise the importance of recruiting and retaining owners to the sport and by doing as much as we can to minimise owners’ costs we hope to ensure owning a racehorse continues to be attainable to people from all walks of life.”

Rachel Hood, President of the Racehorse Owners Association, said:

“With ownership numbers remaining under pressure, I welcome this important decision which means that most owners will not incur any fee increases next year. With administrative costs being an issue frequently raised by owners, the freezing of the majority of charges sends an important message about the BHA’s intent to support the recruitment and retention of owners as part of the industry’s growth strategy. The economics of racehorse ownership remain an extremely challenging area and, just as we must continue to work to increase prize-money at all levels, controlling owners’ costs also has an important role to play in improving the current situation.”

The BHA will shortly be sending out a booklet to all registered and licensed personnel that outlines the BHA’s income and expenditure, along with the services it provides. An electronic copy of the booklet will be made available to view and download online.


Notes to editors:

1. Details about the four fees that will change for 2016 are as follows:

Fees for annual and temporary name reservations will increase by 30%. In cases where the name is temporarily reserved but then registered within 90 days, the overall cost of name registration will not increase. These fees are discretionary and will not impact on the majority of owners.

Fees for colour registrations will rise by 24%, however, any new owners registering colours for the first time or owners renewing colours registrations that have had a horse in training in the last 18 months will receive a discount, bringing the fee back to the same level as in 2015.

Entry handling fees for entering a foreign race will increase from £23.42 to £75 (excluding VAT), to reflect the additional administrative efforts associated with dealing with entries for foreign races.

Linked to this, in 2016 it will cost 50% (30% in 2015) more in entry handling fees to enter a horse using the Weatherbys Call Centre, rather than entering and declaring through the BHA’s Racing Administration Site. A similar initiative has been launched for trainers with the annual licence fee being held at £304.50 but with a charge being brought in for non-online updates to horses in training information. Currently approximately 90% of entries and over 80% of declarations are made online.