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Minimum values to rise in 2015

Ruth QuinnThe British Horseracing Authority has announced that BHA Minimum Values have been reviewed and that the values for many race types, particularly those at the lower end of the prize money scale, will be raised as of 1 April 2015, in agreement with stakeholders.

BHA Minimum Values are the minimum prize money values that must be offered per race. The values are determined by class of race, with higher values for better quality races and also a maximum value (for races of Class 3 and below) to prevent overlap between classes.

The increases will, on this occasion, be directed mainly at the lower end of the prize money scale. BHA and stakeholders agreed that it is these races which are in greatest need of, and should benefit most from, a prize-money uplift.

Ruth Quinn (pictured), Director of Racing for BHA, said: “It was agreed at the outset that for 2015 the focus should be on increasing Minimum Values at the lower end of the sport. We acknowledge that the cost of getting a horse to the races is increasing all the time and it is essential that we do what we can to assist those who are not always competing for the top prizes.

“This mirrors the reasoning behind the recent announcement that £4.2m of the bookmakers’ Additional Voluntary Contribution fund would be used to ensure that many Class 2 – 6 races pay down to at least 6th place. Behind both of these policies is a focus on encouraging participation and thereby addressing the current problem of small fields. Integral to that challenge is assisting owners and trainers in meeting the costs of sending horses racing, especially if there’s a chance that it might stimulate a marginal increase in the average number of runs per horse.

“Reaching agreement on Minimum Values is always a challenge as, understandably, racecourses and horsemen approach them from different viewpoints. From the perspective of racecourses, increasing Minimum Values is likely to result in a slightly reduced flexibility in terms of where to allocate funds, whereas the horsemen’s view is that there must be a minimum level at which any race is run, given the investment levels required to have a horse take part in a race.

“Pushing Minimum Values too high can result in a race programme that is skewed toward the bottom end of the sport where races are cheaper to run; we saw such a scenario with the horsemen’s tariff system which existed during 2011 and 2012, for instance. At the same time, setting values too low only exacerbates the funding issues faced by those at the lower end of the sport.

“Taking account of all the facts, we are satisfied that we have arrived at an appropriate outcome for 2015 and I would like to thank both racecourses and horsemen for their part in the process. We hope that the result ultimately helps us provide a prize money structure that better reflects modern economic realities.”

The reviewing of BHA Minimum Values is an annual process that takes place in consultation with stakeholders. Minimum Values remained unchanged for 2014 owing to the introduction of the new Levy funding model and the focus on signing of Prize Money Agreements with 55 of the 59 racecourses.

The signing of PMAs has provided an undertaking to commit a minimum proportion of media rights revenues to prize money. While these agreements are helpful in dealing with the overall commitment made to prize money, they do not deal with its distribution between race classes and as such need to run in parallel with the BHA Minimum Value process.

· Flat 2yo Group 1 races raised from £145,000 to £150,000

· Flat 2yo Class 4 races raised from £5,800 to £6,100

· Flat 2yo Class 5 races raised from £4,000 to £4,500

· Flat 2yo Class 6 races raised from £3,000 to £3,500

· Flat Heritage Handicaps raised from £95,000 to £100,000

· Flat 3yo+ Class 5 races raised from £4,000 to £4,500

· Flat 3yo+ Class 6 races raised from £3,000 to £3,500

· Steeple Chase Grade 2 races raised from £45,000 to £50,000

· Steeple Chase Class 5 races raised from £3,300 to £3,800

· Novices’ Steeple Chase Grade 1 races raised from £40,000 to £45,000 (pre-agreed to increase by an additional £5,000 on 1 Jan 2016)

· Novices’ Steeple Chase Grade 2 races raised from £30,500 to £32,000

· Novices Steeple Chase Class 5 races raised from £3,300 to £3,800

· Hurdle Grade 1 races raised from £70,000 to £75,000 (pre-agreed to increase by an additional £5,000 on 1 Jan 2016)

· Hurdle Grade 2 races raised from £36,500 to £40,000

· Hurdle Class 4 races raised from £4,800 to £5,000

· Hurdle Class 5 races raised from £3,000 to £3,500

· Novices’ Hurdle Grade 1 races raised from £35,000 to £40,000

· Novices’ Hurdle Grade 2 races raised from £27,500 to £30,000

· Novices’ Hurdle Class 4 races raised from £4,800 to £5,000

· Novices’ Hurdle Class 5 races raised from £3,000 to £3,500

· National Hunt Flat Class 4races raised from £4,800 to £5,000

· National Hunt Flat Class 5 races raised from £3,000 to £3,500

10 December 2014

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