Record prize money forecast for British Racing in 2015

14 Jan 2015 Financial/Political Racing/Fixtures
  • Over £130m projected prize money figure for 2015
  • Uplift of over £7m on previous £123m record in 2014

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced that the projected total prize money in Britain in 2015 will exceed £130m, a new record. This represents an uplift of over £7m on the figure of £123m which was distributed in 2014, which was a record in its own right.

Paul Bittar, BHA Chief Executive, said:

“It is pleasing that 2015 will see record levels of prize money being distributed, off the back of what was a previously unmatched figure in 2014. Increases in prize money help stimulate ownership and investment, bringing benefits to all participants and as such it is crucial to the health and wellbeing of the sport.

“An important contributory factor to the totals in 2014 and 2015 are the Prize Money Agreements with the Horsemen’s Group and BHA that have been signed by the vast majority of racecourses. They have provided a framework for increased contributions. In addition, the 2015 figures showcase the sport’s capability of attracting substantial investment from both domestic and international sponsors.

“However, despite progress in recent years there are still challenges to be faced and the levels of prize money in Britain do not reflect a level that British Racing’s international standing warrants. We are also conscious of longer-term forecasts which show that there is work to be done unless a change in Levy legislation is realised. To this end, a consultation from Government regarding Racing’s central funding model is imminent and of vital importance to the future health of the sport.”

Of the £130m figure, approximately £4m is formed by the Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) made by four contributing bookmakers (William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred). This money is being used as a top-up to prize money to stimulate more competitive racing by ensuring that eligible Class 2 races in Britain will pay to 8th place and Class 3 to 6 races will pay to 6th place on both Flat and Jumps. The scheme was developed in consultation with both Horsemen and Racecourses to assist with covering the cost of sending a runner to the racecourse.

Paul Bittar added:

“It is also worth recognising the contribution from the four major retail bookmakers via the AVC Fund. The bulk of the AVC Fund will go towards topping-up prize money for horses down to 6th and 8th place, the intention being to deliver more competitive racing that in turn creates greater revenue for the sport by making it more attractive to punters.

“The number of small-field races remains one of the critical issues currently facing the sport, and other year-end figures published today highlight the task ahead. Incentivising runners through increases in prize money is one of several initiatives designed to help tackle the issue but ensuring we do all we can as an industry to maximise prize money will always remain integral to this cause.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The approximate breakdown of prize money is as follows:

2013 2014 2015
Owners £17.9m £19.8m £19.8m
Racecourses £48.6m £54.9m £58.4m
HBLB £47.8m £48.3m £48.3m
AVC £0.0m £0.2m £4.3m
Total £114.3m £123.2m £130.8m


2. Details of the Additional Voluntary Contribution can be found here:

3. Details of the initiatives to address small field sizes can be found here:

4. Racing statistics over the last five years can be found here.