BHA Race-Reduction Proposal Tabled Following Executive Committee Vote

Horses train on Warren Hill in Newmarket | Emma Berry

The British Horseracing Authority's proposal to balance the racing programme and reduce it by 300 races for 2023 did not proceed out of review after the sport's Executive Committee voted on Wednesday evening. Racing Post first reported the news. The Executive Committee consists of BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington, and high-ranking members of the Racecourse Association and the Thoroughbred Group. Harrington released a statement explaining the decision on Thursday morning. The statement read:

“The BHA retains the view that it is critical we take steps, as a sport, to deliver a racing product which is both competitive and compelling. The use of a data-driven race programme which is suitably tailored to the population of horses in training will be central to this.

“Following ongoing discussions with the sport's member bodies we believe the best way to achieve this will be through collaboration on a unified industry strategy, rather than making tactical tweaks to the race programme, which have the side-effect of causing significant division amongst the sport's various members.

“The sport's leaders have recent announced that work will now begin on a unified strategy, with fixtures and the race programme at its core.

“Meanwhile, the size of the 2023 race programme will remain under review, with the capacity for decisions to be made later in the year, based on ongoing industry discussions and our ongoing monitoring of the horse population.”

The National Trainers Federation released a statement in response to the news which read:

“We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of the Executive Committee vote on reducing race volume for 2023. From the outset we have supported a BHA proposal that sought to prioritise the future health of the sport over immediate financial gain.

“Further to this, we are left questioning a situation where, despite the Thoroughbred Group voting in favour of the BHA proposal, it was not possible to even reach the two to one majority needed to justify a discussion at the BHA Board. Clearly, this raises significant concerns for us.”

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