The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today launched a formal consultation for stakeholders into the development of a more holistic approach to Race Planning.
The objective is to determine if an alternative approach to creating the Race Programme can be developed that will better benefit horsemen, racecourses and the wider industry. To achieve this, the BHA will closely liaise with members of the Horsemen’s Group (HG) and the Racecourse Association (RCA) throughout the consultation.
The BHA recognises the need for a Race Programme that is reflective of the requirements of the available horse population, whilst setting out, and enhancing where possible, aspirational campaign opportunities for certain horses. The aim of the review is to evaluate existing methods used to create the Race Programme with the intent of delivering an enhanced programme for participants and one that supports the sport’s key growth areas.
Nick Rust, the BHA’s Chief Executive, said:
“This consultation is an important opportunity for us to review and develop the methods used in the creation of the optimum Race Programme, to suit horsemen, racecourses and the wider industry alike. The benefits of delivering improvements to the Race Programme include a reduction in race clashes and gaps, better use of the available horse population, improvement in field sizes, retention and growth of horses in training, and the delivery of more competitive and compelling racing."
“As part of the industry’s Strategy for Growth we have set the target of adding 1,000 new horses in training by 2020. This consultation paves the way for us to be able to strike the right balance between staging the most appropriate racing opportunities for the horse population, whilst ensuring the Race Programme sets out aspirational career pathways.”
All horsemen and racecourses are urged to take part and are asked to respond to the questions laid out in the consultation document by 5 October through their relevant representative body. These include the Racecourse Association (RCA), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA).
Once responses from industry participants have been received, a working group will be created, comprised of stakeholders, to refine feedback from the wider consultation and make recommendations to be presented to the Executive Committee for deliberation.
At Newbury on 29 September and York on 30 September the RCA will be holding workshops to guide racecourses through the consultation. Representatives from the BHA will liaise with the NTF to arrange attendance at NTF Flat and Jump Council meetings, in addition to organising ad-hoc gatherings with trainers in the training centres during the consultation.