Record £19.9 million contribution to prize money in 2015

4th March 2015

Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) today announced it plans to contribute a record £19.9 million to prize money in 2015, despite staging 24 fewer programmed fixtures than in 2014 and that fixture reduction expected to cost £1 million in profits. 2015 will see horsemen racing at JCR for record average prize money per fixture of circa £127,000, with total prize money across its 15 courses nationwide scheduled to exceed £43 million. All figures are based on JCR’s forecast race programme and subject to abandonments.
 
In 2014, JCR made its largest-ever contribution to prize money to date of £19.13 million after abandonments, up from £18.24 million in 2013. Average prize money per fixture across the group was projected to be £118,000 in 2014, but instead this exceeded £120,000.
 
Simply to maintain its 2015 contribution from fewer fixtures JCR would have needed to increase the proportion of its profits going into prize money this year, as well as boost its average prize money per fixture. In planning to exceed its 2014 record and contribute £19.9 million, subject to abandonments, it is going even further to support British racing’s prize money levels and once again exceed the requirements of its Premier Prize Money Agreement.
 
The group’s 2015 plans mean by the end of the year its annual prize money contribution will have increased by £7.5 million – or 60 percent – since 2009 (2009: £12.4 million).
 
JCR's prize money contribution is over-and-above its investments of more than £190 million into facilities in the last decade. These have been made to enhance the experience for racegoers and horsemen alike, and include investment in owners and trainers facilities and racing surfaces.
 
Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:
 
“In 2015 horsemen are racing for record sums at JCR courses, despite the fact fewer fixtures gives us less income to reinvest. We continue to prioritise prize money because it’s the lifeblood of our sport and I hope this move will be well received by horsemen who can support us in return through entries.
 
“Like any commercial operator we make a finite amount of money. The loss of fixtures was a blow because our people have worked really hard to grow our revenues, so given the chance today’s commitment would be even bigger, as every penny we generate we put back into British racing.
 
“The Jockey Club is once again doing our maximum; now the sport as a whole needs to see progress in replacing its broken funding model. We stage fantastic racing in Britain and yet we’re the poor relation of other jurisdictions when it comes to funding, which needs improvement at all levels of racing’s pyramid. That’s why we welcome the Government’s consultation to replace the Horserace Betting Levy with a system where racing and the betting industry find more mutual benefit in creating value together and a level playing field for all types of betting operator. Long-term we all stand to benefit from a better funded sport.”

2015 in numbers
Total JCR prize money £43+ million
Total JCR prize money contribution £19.9 million
Total fixtures scheduled at JCR 340
Average prize money per fixture at JCR £127,000+