2003 was yet another record-breaking year for British Racing as two of the key indicators of the sport’s health, total attendances and prize money, reached new heights. Continued advances were achieved in other areas such as horses in training and fixtures.

The further gains in 2003 maintain the long-term trend of improvement in the sport which has gained rapid pace in recent years.

Prize money in 2003 reached a new record of £94.1m, a rise of 12% on 2002 – which was itself a record £84.2m – and 31% on 2001’s £71.7m.

Attendances have topped six million for the first time in over half a century, with 2003’s total of 6.02m up 8% on 2002’s 5.56m.

2003 also saw increases over 2002 in areas such as:

  • horses in training (13,288 compared to 12,986, a rise of 2.3%)
  • new owner registrations (5,786 compared to 5,511, a rise of 5%)
  • fixtures (1,220 compared to 1,158, a rise of 5.3%)
  • races (8,028 compared to 7,691, a rise of 4.4%)
  • thoroughbred horses sold at public sales (6,949 compared to 6,683, a rise of 4%)
  • and the value of those sales (£198.26m compared to £163.76m, a rise of 21%)
  • BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols said:

    ‘It is sometimes easy to overlook that British Racing is one of the few sports which can honestly say that it is getting stronger and better as each year goes by. Racing is on the up.

    ‘This sustained progress is the result of the sectors of the sport working in conjunction with a strong governing authority. BHB’s co-ordination of a properly structured Fixture List and race programme as well as its marketing initiatives, which are increasingly raising the profile of the sport, have played a major and essential role.

    ‘Prize money would have been even higher in 2003 had it not been for the Levy Board’s unfortunate and unnecessary decision to cut back its contribution in the last four months of the year. We hope for even better news in all areas in 2004.’

    For further information, please contact:

    BHB Communications Manager Alan Delmonte on 020 7343 3318