Issued on behalf of the Horsemen's Group, Arena Racing Company
and the British Horseracing Authority
The Horsemen's Group and Arena Racing Company (ARC), together with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), today announced the signing of a Prize Money Agreement, bringing the number of British racecourses to have signed Prize Money Agreements to 53 from a total of 58.
The signing of the agreement signifies a three-year contractual commitment from 2014-2016 between ARC's 14 racecourses and the sport's participants. The contract covers a range of items, including prize money contribution, with each racecourse or racecourse group's contract with the Horsemen's Group underpinned by the governing body, BHA. Under the terms of the agreement the sport's participants share in the betting-related revenues generated by racecourses.
Between September and November of last year 39 racecourses signed Prize Money Agreements, marking the creation of commercial partnerships between racecourses and horsemen, while ARC made a prize money commitment to BHA for 2014. Together this produced an increase of nearly £5m in prize money, contributing to a total figure for prize money in 2014 in excess of £120m, a new record.
As a result of signing a Prize Money Agreement, ARC have now joined 39 other courses in committing to a three-year deal with the Horsemen's Group and BHA.
Tony Kelly, Managing Director of ARC, said:
"We are delighted to have signed a Prize Money Agreement. We recognise the value horsemen place on getting a greater return from prize money and the mutual benefits of a longer-term deal. ARC's executive contribution for 2014 is £11.3m, an increase of £2.2m (24%), and with this contract we have committed to meeting the terms agreed with the Horsemen's Group and BHA for the next three years.
"Following last year's discussions we have been able to agree a deal which will allow racing's participants to share in ARC's future growth which is to the benefit of British Racing as a whole. I would like to personally thank Philip Freedman and Richard Wayman, as well as BHA, for the measured and collaborative manner in which these discussions took place. The team at ARC look forward to continuing to work with the Horsemen's Group through the tenure of this agreement and beyond."
Philip Freedman, Chairman of the Horsemen's Group, said:
"It's our belief that Prize Money Agreements represent a new era of collaboration and trust between racing's key stakeholders. Consequently, it is encouraging that ARC, as the group with the largest number of fixtures, has now signed the same deal with the Horsemen's Group and BHA, which is excellent news for all our members."
The three-year deals commit each of the parties to working together, not only in terms of a racecourse's prize money contribution but also in a range of areas designed to bring benefits to all in the sport. Other topics addressed include racecourses having a special fund to enhance prize money according to field sizes in certain races and facilitating racecourses' access to bonus schemes to top up prize money.
Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said:
"Prize Money Agreements provide further evidence of the benefits for the sport when the stakeholders undertake to work together. Recent developments in terms of Government announcing its intention to address British Racing's central funding issues give grounds for genuine optimism that the economic health of the sport will, in the future, markedly improve.
"The value of the sport speaking with one voice through a joined-up approach cannot be over-stated and it is BHA's ambition that the landmark Prize Money Agreements signed last year and now with ARC will form the foundation for future terms of co-operation between racecourses and horsemen".