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Future plans and strategies of BHA
BHA logo. British Horseracing Authority

Future plans and strategies of BHA

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is leading the development of an industry strategy for the British horse racing sector. This strategic planning effort involves coordination and collaboration between the BHA and all the stakeholders and participants in the horse racing industry.

Challenges to overtake

The leaders of British horse racing recognise that the sport is facing shared challenges that require a collective, long-term approach to address. This includes issues around prize money, field sizes, horse welfare, the needs of industry participants, and attracting the next generation of owners, investors and customers.

Developing a comprehensive industry strategy is seen as an opportunity to shape the future of British racing and solidify its position as a global leader in thoroughbred racing and breeding.

To enable this strategic planning, the governance structure of British racing has been updated to empower the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to make clear, evidence-based decisions on behalf of the sport's major stakeholders, including owners, breeders, jockeys, trainers, stable staff, and racecourses. These governance changes have paved the way for the development of a long-term plan for the industry.

The main focus areas for the racing industry's strategy are crucial to its long-term growth and success.

Some of these focus areas are well-developed, with significant work already happening and clear timelines for completion. Others will continue to be refined in the coming months and years.

As the strategy progresses, objectives and targets will be established for each of these areas. This will involve input from individuals and organisations across the industry, to ensure the right structures, people, and expertise are in place to achieve them.

Calendar. Source: Racing Post
Calendar. Source: Racing Post

Premier Racedays

170 Premier Racedays have been introduced in 2024 to showcase the best quality British racing.

The goal is to grow interest in the sport through increased betting turnover, attendance, and general engagement.

The Premier Racedays are underpinned by criteria around prize money and racing quality.

They are intended to deliver consistent, high-quality racing that can be better promoted to new and existing audiences.

Premier Racedays have a distinct visual identity that will be used across racecourses, race day materials, broadcasts, betting, and other promotional channels.

The Premier Racedays include all of racing's marquee events like Cheltenham, the Grand National, the Derby, and Royal Ascot.

Racedays calendar. Source: Newbury racecourse
Racedays calendar. Source: Newbury racecourse

2024 Fixture List

The 2024 fixture list includes significant customer-focused innovations to deliver a more competitive, engaging, and exciting racing product.

In addition to Premier Racedays, there is a major investment to help strengthen Sunday racing and a focus on increasing competitiveness across the entire fixture list.

A summary of the main changes to the 2024 fixture list is available.

All of the 2024 fixture list changes are being introduced on a two-year trial basis, with criteria provided for assessing the progress of the trial.

Enablers

The racing industry's strategy will be supported by several key enablers:

A high-quality and sustainable British breeding industry - This will help increase the number of horses in training, support a diverse and competitive race program, retain top-quality stallions and mares in Britain, and attract ongoing investment.

A diverse and inclusive industry - The goal is to create a sport that reflects wider society and provides opportunities for everyone to reach their potential, regardless of their background. This will build on the work of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group to help people feel included, valued, and welcome.

Responding to environmental challenges - This involves understanding and mitigating the risks of climate change, adapting operations, and pursuing opportunities to safeguard horses, people, and businesses. The industry's environmental audit will inform long-term planning in this area.

Robust data and insight - Improved sharing and use of existing information will provide a strong evidence base to support more informed decision-making for the benefit of the sport as a whole.

Clear communications and ongoing engagement - This will help build understanding, trust, and confidence in the sport's objectives and progress, keeping people informed and fostering a sense of support and ownership as the strategy is implemented.

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