Representatives of the British Horseracing Authority, horsemen and racecourses have agreed on a plan for the next stages of the industry's recovery plan from COVID-19.
The recovery plan lists nine industry goals, which are as follows:
- To secure a full resumption of race-day activity, with the best possible ownership and spectator experience, and the maximum attendance possible;
- To maintain the health and safety of participants, staff and all those attending raceday meetings by continuing the safe return of racing and adherence to strict controls on social distancing;
- To put in place a fixture list and race programme for 2021 that balances increasing revenues with the well being of participants and staff and takes account of the horse population;
- To reduce the industry's cost-base and be agile where new opportunities to increase revenue can be seized and mitigate the impact of recession, including the pursuit of immediate Levy reform;
- To seek to maximise prize money for 2021 balanced against the financial constraints of stakeholders and the sport's projected revenues, through new commercial agreements between racecourses and horsemen;
- To agree a spending plan for central funds that best supports racing's recovery;
- To retain key investors, including existing owners, and reform rules for syndicates and clubs to protect members and increase their appeal to potential owners;
- To present a safe, high-quality and consistent offer to race-day and betting customers based on a thorough understanding of their changing needs and behaviours due to COVID;
- To put in place foundations for a longer-term sustainable recovery for British racing.
Click here for the full recovery plan.
Nick Rust, chief executive of the BHA, said, “it's very important that this plan has been agreed by leaders from all parts of the racing industry. We know from the way we prepared to resume racing in June that working together works. The commitment shown by leaders in signing up to this recovery plan demonstrates a continued willingness to maintain a unified approach through the tough battles ahead.”
David Armstrong, chief executive of the Racecourse Association, added, “the whole industry worked very well to enable racing to return as the first major sport behind closed doors. Now we have to renew that collaboration as we enter this recovery phase and move beyond that into 2021. This plan brings together all the necessary components in one clear action plan with some ambitious goals. From a racecourse perspective the return of racegoers and the experience for owners are clear priorities that are already underway and we look forward to the wider recovery of the sport.”
Charlie Liverton, chief executive of the Racehorse Owners Association, said, “this new recovery plan goes further towards protecting the long-term future of our sport and formalizing collaboration between the stakeholders during this difficult period. It is imperative that we focus on the vital drivers that keep our sport going and growing: retaining owners and maximizing the sport's revenues. There is a lot to be done but I am confident that, working together, we can deliver this vital work for participants across the industry.”