In response to the British Horseracing Authority’s (“BHA”) statement on British Racing’s 2016 Fixture List, Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) Chairman and BHA Board Member, David Thorpe said:
“ARC is pleased to have been able to work with the BHA and other stakeholders to ensure British Racing has published its 2016 Fixture List in a timely manner which allows racecourses enough time to plan for the year ahead.
“As the largest racecourse operator in British Racing ARC has the desire to see the whole sport grow but recognises this requires the cooperation of all stakeholders. The BHA acknowledges it is only able to directly influence 13% of the total Fixture List. For any further development of the Fixture List, which is the key way in which the sport can grow, the BHA must be the facilitator behind ensuring full cooperation and negotiation between racecourses, bookmakers and potential funding incentives through the Levy Board.
“In order for this to be effective there needs to be a much more detailed study of what the specific issues are relating to the Fixture List. For too long these have not been clearly set out and understood. Traditional rhetoric should be challenged and there needs to be a better understanding of the role different types of fixtures have in generating commercial income for British Racing, be that through attendance on course, levy generation or media rights income. In addition, Race Planning continues to be underutilised in ensuring effective use of the horse population and ARC’s Racing Department and Racecourse Teams are committed to working with the BHA’s Racing Department to ensure this can be improved.
“All parties invested in the future of British Racing have an important role to play if we are to grow the sport in the years ahead. ARC is already playing its part in this and is committed to continuing to do so.”