British Horseracing Overcomes the Hurdle of Recession

According to Horseracing, a new Market Report from market intelligence provider Key Note, the British horseracing industry was estimated to have performed fairly strongly in 2014, with the total turnover of racehorse owners in Britain estimated to have increased by 11.1%, alongside a 7.9% increase in total prize money distributions.

While the performance of horseracing in 2014 was extremely positive, the sport has struggled in recent years — like many sectors — as a consequence of the economic downturn. Investment in horseracing saw considerable decline, with falls in the number of registered owners recorded between 2009 and 2013, and reductions noted in the volume of horses in breeding and in training. Falling field sizes (the number of runners in each race) have also been a major concern, with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) highlighting this as one of the main issues currently facing the sport, owing to its potentially significant effect on the competitiveness of sport and its position as a compelling spectator sport. While these issues prove challenging, the sport remains in relatively rude health, with overall prize money reaching record levels in 2014 and total attendances rising to a post-recession high. Furthermore, the ‘Sport of Kings’ remains the second most popular spectator sport, behind football, and the largest non-remote betting market in the UK.

Looking forward, there are positive indications for British horseracing, with both total prize money and total attendances at live events set to hit record levels in 2015. Other issues and challenges to the health of the sport are also being tackled by the BHA and various other stakeholder groups, with Prize Money Agreements signed between industry and the racecourses to ensure rising winnings for participants; an ongoing consultation by Government to tackle the issue of offshore betting operators avoiding contributing to the sport through the Horserace Betting Levy; industry consultations to boost field sizes and participation in jump racing; and various initiatives to improve activity in regard to horserace breeding and ownership.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.