Racecourses’ commitment to prize money hits record levels

Executive contributions to prize money from racecourses are set to rise again in 2017 having reached 50% of the total fund for the first time ever in 2016.

Racecourses committed a total of £68.5m to prize money in 2016, a rise of more than 11% on 2015, resulting in record total prize money in British racing of £137.6m.

This record commitment from racecourses has ensured a 47% increase in total prize money across a five year period, achieved despite the dramatic drop in Levy yield from 2009 onwards caused by the migration of betting turnover offshore, recently addressed by the new legislation.

Over 90% of racecourses currently have prize money agreements with the Horsemen’s Group and discussions around renewed agreements are due to take place shortly. All racecourses are currently complying without exception with minimum race values agreed by the RCA with the BHA and the Horsemen’s Group.

Stephen Atkin, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association said: “Racecourses have long recognised the importance of prize money to the sport in retaining owners through improving their returns, attracting investment in bloodstock and as the lifeblood of stable staff, trainers and jockeys.

“Racecourses have continued to invest in prize money, alongside improving the owner experience on racedays, to ensure total and average prize money levels remain on an upward curve. Racecourse contributions have sharply increased over the last five years facilitated by commercial contracts and underpinned by prize money agreements with the Horsemen’s Group. We expect this upward curve to continue in 2017.”

Atkin added: “The extension of the Levy to include overseas operators is excellent news and as a result the outlook for future prize money growth is very positive. That a significant part of additional monies will be focused at the grassroots of the sport has full racecourse support, and central funding will be matched by racecourse investment in these tiers.”

“Racecourses make considerable contributions to the economy and community in general and the RCA have worked together with the BHA and Horsemen’s Group to explain this contribution to Government and stakeholders.

“We are grateful to Government and for all-party parliamentary support, particularly MPs in racecourse constituencies. We welcome the opportunity of working with betting to further the mutual interests of both great industries.”