This Key Note Market Report examines the British horseracing industry, covering activities ‘under Rules’, overseen by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). In 2014, the total turnover of racehorse owners in Britain was estimated to have grown by 11.1% — although this follows a significant decline in 2013 — while total prize money dispersed in British horseracing grew by 7.9% to reach record levels.
Horseracing in Britain is of considerable cultural and historical importance, proving very popular among royalty throughout British history, and representing the first sport in Britain to be regulated. It remains hugely popular as the second-largest spectator sport the UK. In terms of participation, there are approximately 14,000 horses in training in Britain, 600 licensed trainers, 8,000 trainers and a total of 59 racecourses, alongside two dedicated television channels and a range of print and online media.
However, while the sport undoubtedly remains remarkably popular, the impact of the economic recession in the UK, and the subsequent period of instability, had a severe impact on the market. Although certain areas have recovered — such as attendance and prize money — decline has been seen throughout the industry in recent years, with racehorse ownership levels; the number of horses in breeding and training; prize money; the number of runners in races; and field sizes also experiencing contractions in recent years.
In addition, horseracing as a gambling ‘product’ has struggled somewhat in recent...