Significant investment from BHA Development Fund marks next step in project to boost staying programme

01 Nov 2017 BHA Features Racecourse Racing/Fixtures
  • Significant proportion of £1.5m fund will  be focussed towards boosting three-year-old staying programme for the next three years
  • Initiatives for older Flat fillies and within Jump racing also in line for increased funding
  • Commitment marks next step in industry wide project to protect the continued production of quality stayers

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced a further significant commitment to boosting the programme for staying horses through increased expenditure from the BHA Development Fund for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The c. £1.5m fund, which is raised through the leasing of BHA fixtures to racecourses, will be distributed by the BHA to support longer-term strategic initiatives to enhance the breed and has been agreed following consultation with representatives of Horsemen and Racecourses.

The funds are in addition to the £9.7m committed to targeting mid and lower-tier racing for 2018 from additional Levy income.

Programme for Stayers

The investment is headlined by a series of support payments to the Flat programme for staying three-year-olds, designed to continue the British Racing industry’s work to protect the continued production of quality stayers.

The project is being led by the BHA with support from the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) and the European Pattern Committee, in conjunction with The Horsemen’s Group and Racecourses.

Details of races eligible for support payments over a three year period have been sent to racecourses. The payments would decrease gradually on a sliding scale and are in exchange for a commitment to stage the contests at a higher value until at least 2020.

The race types and specific contests eligible for funding increases have been spread throughout the middle-distance and staying three-year-old race programme to ensure that incentives are in place at varying levels of ability.

The aim is to secure:

  • Higher value Novice races for middle-distance and staying types at Class 3 and 4 levels
  • A programme of Class 2, 3 and 4 staying handicaps which offer valuable prizes
  • Enhancements to the prize money levels of  certain races within the Black Type programme

62 races for the staying horse population will be supported by the Development Fund over the next three years, of which 25 are upgrades of existing races and 8 are new contests .

As a result, the BHA Development Fund will invest £1,894,500 in these races between 2018 and 2020.

Racecourses have made commitments to increase the prize money for the following Black Type races for three year olds:

Four contests for fillies and mares of three-years-old and older have also been offered, based on the same three year commitment in exchange for annual support payments outlined above. These will take place over July and August at Chelmsford, Newbury, Newmarket and Goodwood.

Jump Racing

A number of initiatives focussed on Jump racing have also been identified for Development Fund support in 2018.

These include a £100,000 Novice Handicap Chase staged at the end of the core Jumping period, which runners will need to qualify for by running in weight-for-age Novice Chases throughout the season.

Similar initiatives are planned for Novice Hurdles, whilst there are also plans to increase the funding to enhance the programme for mares’ Jump races by £200,000 and the programme of Juvenile Hurdles by £150,000.

Further detail on the Jump racing initiatives will be provided in due course.

Ruth Quinn, Director of International Racing & Racing Development at the BHA, said:

“These targeted enhancements supported by the BHA Development Fund for the next three years mark a considerable, industry-wide commitment to improve the staying programme further, particularly for the three-year-old, which has been identified as the next priority in our wider project to safeguard the future of the staying horse.

“The BHA Development Fund also continues to be utilised to support other long-term objectives, with further prize money boosts announced for the programme for Jumping mares and novice chases, showing our continued commitment in these key areas.”

Julian Richmond-Watson, Chairman of the TBA, said:

“The TBA is delighted that continuing initiatives around stayers and staying races are being supported with enhancements to the programme and new monies being invested by the BHA and racecourses.

“Our aim is to protect the heritage and diversity of the British thoroughbred; the progress being made in 2018 and the longer-term commitments are a positive step forward, and will benefit both Flat and National Hunt breeding.

“We will continue to work with breeders, horsemen, the BHA and racecourses to build on this platform of new races and enhanced prize money to promote and preserve the British-bred stayer.”

Notes to editors:

1. Previous announcements regarding the programme for staying horses can be viewed below

February 2017
June 2017

2. Anyone requiring more information can contact the BHA Racing Department on 020 7152 0050 or racing@britishhorseracing.com.

3. More information about the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association can be found here.