The British Horseracing Board (BHB) has today launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging more people to enter into the ranks of the countr?_x0019_s racehorse owners.
The “Ownership for All” campaign is part of the long-term Thrill of Ownership awareness drive, whose main remit is to promote the sport’s modern-day accessibility and the different options for participation.
The new campaign has been initiated by the BHB’s Ownership Marketing Group. It will focus on explaining the various types of ownership and removing the perceived obstacles through a PR campaign to the non-trade media. The campaign will use media channels targeting both the consumer and business audiences with specific messages, such as topical case studies of racing partnerships and offering journalists the chance to experience the thrill of ownership.
The BHB is keen to add to the UK’s 10,000-plus active owners as a growing owners base is key to the future prosperity of the sport. Jackie Hutchinson, Industry Marketing Manager, says, “Owner numbers have grown in recent years but looking ahead we need to take steps now to ensure the upward trend continues. The economy has turned and people are perhaps less willing to spend; the demand on the leisure pound is immense with racing facing pressure from pastimes such as golf; and prize money levels in Britain remain uncompetitive against those in other main racing nations, which leads to a significant number of owners leaving the sport each year.”
In stressing its accessibility and affordability, BHB will continue its efforts to break down the elitist and wealthy image that still haunts ownership and highlight the enjoyment to be had by participants across the social scale. Its efforts are being supported by a number of racing personalities.
BBC presenter Clare Balding comments, “ At every race meeting I attend I see at first hand the joy and excitement that comes with ownership, irrespective of the quality of the horse or indeed the size of the share. You talk to partnership members and appreciate just how diverse the owner base has become, which can only be a positive thing for the sport. But they are all bound by one thing –they have been able to fulfil their dream of owning a racehorse.”
Radio 5 racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght is keen to correct people’s misconceptions. “I think these days the biggest barrier in people’s minds is one of cost. And yet the fact remains that investment in shared ownership can be no more and even considerably less than a football season ticket or golf club membership. Moreover, none of those actually give you the thrill of ownership. I see it everyday and think wouldn’t it be great if more people understood how exhilarating this experience can be?”
BHB will encourage those interested in finding out more to visit its website (www.bhb.co.uk) where there is comprehensive information on the types of ownership package available as well as details of racing partnerships and racing clubs. A full range of literature on all aspects of racing can also be requested. In addition, BHB will be holding three ownership open days at Newmarket (1st July), Malton (6th September) and Lambourn (4th October). Details of the events are available on the website or by calling Paul Struthers at BHB on 020 7343 3321.
For further information, please contact Paul Struthers, BHB Ownership Marketing Executive, on 020 7343 3321, email@example.com, or Jackie Hutchinson, BHB Industry Marketing Manager, on 020 7343 3324, firstname.lastname@example.org .