Racing industry to work together to set long term strategy for the sport

01 Jun 2022 BHA Features Financial/Political

Racing’s leaders have pledged to work together over the coming months to set a long-term strategy and priorities for the British racing industry. 

The strategy will look at areas including prize money, the race programme – alongside the breeding industry and ensuring there are enough of the right horses to fulfil the race programme – equine and people welfare, the collection and use of data in the sport, the owner experience, integrity, customer engagement and the overall marketing of horseracing both domestically and internationally.  

Leaders of the Racecourse Association (RCA), Thoroughbred Group (TG) and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will work together to set a mid-to-long term strategy, to help stakeholders align on a plan for the long-term sustainability of the industry. 

Agreement on this principle has followed on from the sport’s ongoing discussions regarding industry governance, which include that the BHA should have responsibility for coordinating the industry strategy on behalf of shareholders.  

Joe Saumarez Smith, who starts his position as Chair of the BHA today, Wednesday 1 June, said:

“The ongoing discussions around industry governance have now paved the way for the development of a cross-industry strategic vision for the sport’s growth, something that the industry is unanimous in agreeing is required.  

“There is much good work being done by stakeholders but too often it is in isolation, and we all felt there is an opportunity for all participants to help shape that vision. The strategy will be framed around the industry’s shared ambition to maintain and enhance Britain’s position as a leading player in world racing.” 

Wilf Walsh, chair of the RCA, said: 

“We look forward to working with other shareholders and the BHA in formulating a clear, priority driven strategy. We need to ensure that we are committed to being agile and getting things done by making the most of the passion, knowledge and capability that exists within the sport.” 

Charlie Parker, chair of the TG, said: 

“There have been many attempts over the years to come up with a strategic plan for British racing. I am pleased that the progress made on the BHA restructuring has allowed us to announce this initiative, which will give the industry a real opportunity to meet the huge challenges we face.” 

Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the BHA, added: 

“I’m delighted that the industry has reached agreement on this important development. British racing has been going through a necessary period of reflection regarding how it should be structured and where responsibilities lie for various critical functions, and as a result of this process it has been agreed that the BHA will lead on industry strategy.  

“I am excited that we will now be able commence work on delivering this crucial project on behalf of – and in full collaboration with – the British racing industry.”