British Racing’s continued prosperity is recorded in the British Horseracing Board’s 2004 Annual Report, published at its Annual Review in central London today.
The Report highlights the results of a period of sustained development within the sport, including:
• Prize Money exceeding £100 million for the first time, an increase of over 40% on the 2001 figure of £71 million
• BHB contributing some £7.4 million towards Prize Money, following further growth of its Incentive Schemes and the successful introduction of Regional Racing and the Owners’ Premium Scheme for British-bred horses
• Racecourse attendance reaching 6.05 million and surpassing 2003’s modern-day record, with growth in the popularity of both Flat and Jump Racing
• Significant increases in the number of Runners (up 11.7% on 2003), Owners (+3.5%) and Horses in Training (+6.5%), coupled with the expansion and development of the Fixture List for the benefit of the consumer (Fixtures and Races up 6.5% and 6.8% on 2003 respectively)
• Average field sizes on the Flat rising from 11.11 to 11.21 (+0.9%), with the Jump average increasing from 9.23 to 10.19 (+10.4%), the highest figure at least since the 1980s
The Report reflects on a year which included the provisional agreement with the Office of Fair Trading in June, following a four-year investigation, and the associated ‘Modernisation of British Racing’ (MBR) blueprint, and the adverse Judgement in November from the European Court of Justice in the long-running data rights case against William Hill. BHB Chairman Martin Broughton’s Statement details the impact of the ECJ ruling, whilst the Review of the year by BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols outlines the key areas of reform laid out in MBR.
The sections of the Report covering the activities of BHB in 2004 feature:
• Industry Recruitment and Training initiatives following the publication of the Stable and Stud Staff Commission Report, including the work of the steering group chaired by Baroness Mallalieu, and the first Stable Staff of the Year Awards
• Marketing campaigns helping to boost the sport domestically and internationally including the inaugural Order of Merit, British Flat and Jump Racing Awards, the launch of britishhorseracing.com and sponsorship, ownership and bloodstock projects
• The introduction of the new Flat Classification and the effective revamping of the Novices’ Chase programme carried out by the Racing Department
• The Board’s income for the year rising by 13.3% to £44.1m, with £17.3m of this figure attributable to data licensing
The Report also details BHB’s formal aims, which have been updated and amended as appropriate to reflect key developments over the past year.
As in previous years, a short Summary Report has been produced, which will be distributed to all active owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders and stable staff.
For a downloadable version of BHB’s 2004 Annual Report click here.
Hard copies can be requested by phone from BHB Communications Executive Will Lambe on 020 7152 0028 or via [email protected]