Following Board agreement on the matter last year, the trial of successor arrangements to end BHB’s involvement in the owners’ veto on jockeys sponsorship is set to commence.
Since 1999, BHB has operated an owners’ veto as part of the Jockeys’ Sponsorship Code of Conduct. There is now broad industry agreement that a new system should be brought into place, which would allow, amongst other things, owners to come to individual commercial agreements with jockeys regarding their sponsorship.
Wide consultation has taken place and all owners who had previously exercised the veto were written to in December 2005 requesting their views on the current system. The wide-ranging feedback received will now be taken into account as new arrangements are developed.
New software for the online and telephone booking of jockeys has been specifically developed, which will enable trainers to see at-a-glance whether an individual jockey is sponsored. A test of this new software, with National Trainers Federation and Jockeys Association of Great Britain representation will be taking place in the near future, with the aim of making the system as simple as possible for trainers.
BHB Marketing Director Chris John said: “BHB wants to promote a more commercial environment for jockeys and their sponsors, whilst at the same time recognising that owners have the final say over any branding associated with their horses.”
Jockeys Association of Great Britain Chief Executive John Blake added: “It is a key issue for jockeys to be able to exercise more control over their commercial rights. We hope the removal of the old veto will be complete by next month and believe that these new commercial arrangements will benefit the sport as a whole.
“I don’t believe our sport wants to place obstacles in the path of new money being invested into sponsorship and we are encouraged with the reaction from owners to support our long-term aim to gain parity between jockeys and other professional sportspeople.”