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The British Horseracing Authority explains 2024 strategy list and proposed changes in the industry

With changes ranging from increased prize money to increasing betting windows, the BHA has gone into detail on its plans for the sport in the new year.

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Richard Wayman, British Horseracing Authority (BHA) COO, published a blog piece to explain the proposed changes that were first introduced in the BHA 2024 Fixture List.

The 2024 Fixture List was collated with various ideas for the coming year, with the hopes of innovating both the sport and customer engagement.

Wayman explains: “It was agreed by everyone involved in the industry strategy that innovation in the fixture list is required with racing currently experiencing a number of negative trends including falling attendances, declining betting on racing, the number of owners under pressure and challenges around race competitiveness.

“The proposals focus on using headline events to grow interest in the sport, making more use of Sundays and improving the competitiveness of racing to arrest these declines.

“It is important that the effectiveness of these changes can be measured through what will be a two-year trial period for two main reasons.”

These reasons include the ability to alter and improve the changes over the introductory period, as well as the chance to cut some entirely if they don’t work out.

Wayman expects the proposed changes to improve racing’s finances by approximately £90m ($103m) over five years, with an improvement of £6m by the end of 2024.

These include a range of ideas, from spreading out the fixtures on Saturdays to allow for wider betting windows, as well as opening a new betting session on Sunday evenings.

In an attempt to halt the decline in attendance for races, the BHA has proposed an investment into premier fixtures, which it hopes will increase attendance by 10%.

Wayman concludes: “We are not aware of any other sport which has set out KPIs as detailed as this in public.

“We hope this demonstrates our commitment to transparency and openness around the industry strategy.

Each target will have a different impact on the overall success or otherwise of the strategy, with many of the targets being interrelated. Therefore, no measure is likely to be assessed in absolute isolation as a “pass or fail”.”

One of the new schemes that is already in motion is a Middle Distance Veterans’ Series in collaboration with Unibet, which will feature 10, 11 and 12-year-olds over two miles and four furlongs.

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