Monday, June 12, 2006
BHB's 2005 Annual Report Records Ongoing Achievements

British Racing’s resilience in the face of considerable challenges is outlined in BHB’s 2005 Annual Report, published at the BHB British Racing Review 2006 in central London today.

The Report details continued growth in a number of key areas in 2005, with further records in:

  • Owners with horses in training – 9,403
  • Horses in training – 14,388
  • Fixtures – 1,300
  • Runners – 94,659

    Other indicators such as prize money – £99.3m – and total attendances – 5.9m – while down marginally on 2004 remained substantially higher than their levels of five years ago.

    For the first time, the Finance section of the Report includes a five-year breakdown of income generated by the sport’s governing body. Expenditure over each year of that period is then divided by regulation, governance and commercial headings.

    Although 2005 marked the end of BHB’s pursuit to fund Racing through data licensing operations, the policy is shown to have earned some £64m for Racing in additional revenues. Taking account of the inevitable legal and professional fees during this period – including those defending Racing against the OFT – and commercial costs including bad debts, the net benefit to the sport was £38.6m.

    BHB Chairman Martin Broughton’s Statement reports on the progress made on developing Racing’s future funding and governance structures whilst BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols’ Review of the year surveys many of the achievements made possible by attempts to secure a commercial funding mechanism, and looks ahead to further challenges the sport faces.

    The sections of the Report covering the activities of BHB’s core departments in 2005 feature:

  • The great strides made by the Racing Department in increasing the competitiveness of Flat and Jump Racing. Ten-year comparison tables reveal some 60% of Chases to have had 8 or more runners in 2005, compared with 39% in 1995, with the number of Chases with 1 to 4 runners in the same period falling to 5% of the total from 21%
  • The ground-breaking Fixture Bidding Process, carried out for the first time in 2005 and overseen by the Racing Department
  • Extensive efforts co-ordinated by BHB to demonstrate to Government the importance of the VAT Registration Scheme for Racehorse Owners, which culminated with the announcement in 2006 that the Scheme would be extended
  • The formation of the British Racing Consumer Committee leading to a greater focus on strategic planning by the Marketing Department
  • The success of the Order of Merit in its second season, with a further boost to field sizes in the Jump Pattern
  • The Recruitment and Training Department’s formation of an overall recruitment and training strategy for the sport, including the development of
  • The Stable and Stud Staff Steering Group’s continued efforts to monitor progress within the Racing and Breeding industries against the recommendations laid down by the Stable and Stud Staff Commission