British Horseracing Authority Approves Racing on Good Friday

October 2, 2013

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has revealed it has approved the principle of racing on Good Friday next year ahead of the publication of the 2014 fixture list.

Racing’s rulers agreed to take applications from racecourses to stage meetings on the bank holiday last month, despite opposition from some racing professionals, as open days in the training centres of Lambourn and Middleham are traditionally staged on Good Friday.

The details of which courses will race on Good Friday is still to be confirmed, though the fixtures will remain under the control of BHA.

A BHA press release read: “Racecourses were asked to submit applications which covered specific BHA criteria, including prize money commitment on the day, forecast attendances, support for participants and stakeholders, and overall net contribution to the sport.

“Extensive consultation also took place with stakeholders and interested parties enabling the Board to assess the proposal with all feedback taken into consideration and to take a view in the best interests of the sport overall.”

The final composition of the fixture list for 2014 is to be announced next week and will be influenced by which racecourses or racecourse groups have signed the prize money agreements which were unveiled last weekend.

However, the BHA confirmed that the fixture list will not exceed the 1,464 fixtures programmed in 2013.

Paul Bittar, chief executive of BHA, said: “The BHA Board agreed to delay signing off on the full fixture list in order to allow further racecourses time to reach prize money agreements with the Horsemen’s Group and BHA.

“Whether racecourses have or have not signed prize money agreements or have made a specific commitment to prize money will have an influence on the allocation of the outstanding fixtures controlled by the BHA.”