Keep Owners in Racing

Owners are the life-blood of our sport; the most important stakeholder; making the greatest investment into racing with over £672m a year spent on training fees and bloodstock.

A crowd of people celebrating a racing victory

Only 2% of owners cover their annual costs

Without owners there is no racing and the whole edifice of racecourses, trainers, breeders, syndicators and sales houses crumbles. Racing is reliant on this continuing investment which, in turn, drives a £4bn+ economic contribution to the UK economy. Yet many owners feel dissatisfied by the way they are treated. Prizemoney is paltry and deteriorating: less than 2% of owners get anywhere near covering their annual costs, and the median return via prizemoney is less than 7p in the pound.

A printed copy of Blueprint for a Racing Recovery Plan

Blueprint for Ownership Acquisition and Retention in the UK

Download the PDF

The ownership experience frequently falls way below expectations. It is hard to influence the direction of our sport. Owners feel they are the “unacknowledged stakeholders” of British racing and are concerned that their views go unheard. Many believe racing is facing a crisis, with dissatisfied owners giving up on the game – with huge financial implications for the sport.

We have produced A Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK: Making retention and acquisition of owners the number 1 goal for British Racing. We challenge the sport’s leadership to address that goal with urgency.

A printed copy of Blueprint for a Racing Recovery Plan

Manifesto – Retaining owners as the #1 key investor.

Download the PDF

Very few owners are satisfied with current leadership, governance and decision-making of British racing. Disillusionment has increased alarmingly and there is little expectation that modernisation of the sport will occur through the current anachronistic structure. Racing’s leadership struggles to focus properly on three critical priorities: funding, prize-money and fixtures.

Our second major report, Why Racing Has to Change to Secure Owner Acquisition and Retention …. and How to Do It, launches this Manifesto for the Future – Retaining Owners as the #1 Key Investor.

Perspectives in Racing Films

Why racing needs a funding model restructure

Focus: The view of long-term multiple owner, Craig Buckingham on why racing needs a funding overhaul.

Film length: 16 minutes


Reimaging and redefining the way forward for racing

Focus: After what has been another intense phase for the racing community, Ged Shields & Jon Hughes discuss the way forward for racing.

Film length: 16 minutes


Jon Hughes Interview with Sean Boyce - Sky Sports Racing 25.10.2020

Focus: Jon Hughes discusses with Sean Boyce on The Racing Debate Show, the findings of the 100-days of consultation with the racing community

Film length: 12 minutes


Manifesto for the Future – Campaign Blog

Fixing the Fixtures, Part 2: Why it’s easy both to agree and to disagree with the BHA’s premierisation strategy

I’m a fan of the ever-inconsistent Glenda Slagg in Private Eye, deriding the people that she’s just praised with lashings of innuendo, so what would she make of British racing at the moment? ... Read
Jon Hughes

by Jon Hughes

Fixing the Fixtures, Part 1: Sunday Best – The bloated fixture list and outdated programme are to be modernised. But is the thinking right?

Much has been made of the BHA’s proposed premierisation and their desire to declutter the 2pm-4pm window on Saturdays by moving some of the minor meetings. I’m okay with the concept of... Read
Ged Shields

by Ged Shields

Not What I was Dreaming Of, But Premierisation Can Work

As a passionate owner involved in 19 racehorses from foals to chasers, I was absorbed recently as the epic “Premierisation – To Boldly Go” unfolded, but couldn’t stop myself humming along to Judy... Read
Jon Hughes

by Jon Hughes

PDF Downloads

Download four
Owners as Investors 2021+

Time to Kick On ….” Reinvigorating Ownership Strategy 2021+ Focusing on Owners as Investors through Radical Initiatives


Download three
100-days campaign completion briefing: review and recommendations

Jon Hughes and Ged Shields present their findings on the completion of the Keep Owners in Racing initial campaign, along with their recommendations for reimaging racehorse ownership.


Download two
Keep Owners in Racing 50 days in campaign progress report

Back on 12th July, Ged Shields and Jon Hughes launched our Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK: Making retention and acquisition of owners the number 1 goal of a Racing Recovery Plan. As we are now just past the 50 days point see the two-page summary and analysis of the progress so far..


Download one
MP call for support for Racing Recovery Plan review

Our intention was always to keep pressure on British Racing to produce and implement a meaningful Recovery Plan. We were encouraged when Nick Rust made his announcement about the “9 Goals”, but there is clearly a huge amount of urgent, concerted and collaborative action required if the sport is to address the challenges ahead and mitigate the looming crisis of a major contraction in racing. The call for review support from UK government is to aid and assist making “recovery” a reality.


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Support the Manifesto and Our Campaign

Your data here will be used for the sole purpose of issuing updates to you about the Manifesto and campaign to Keep Owners in Racing. Your information will not be shared with any other third party or used for any other purpose, and will be digitally deleted from the authors’ files once the Manifesto closes.

A jockey with his horse and a small crowd of people

We want the sport to “put owners first”.
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The Authors of these major studies Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK, Manifesto for the Future – Retaining Owners as the #1 Key Investor

A photograph of Jon Hughes

Jon Hughes

An owner since 2004 with 94 winners so far. Current trainers are Karl Burke, Philip Hobbs, Anthony Honeyball, Martin Keighley and Charlie Longsdon. Involved with 23 horses, from foals to chasers. Former chairman and co-founder of specialist management consultancies in procurement and supply chain, and visiting professorships at the University of Birmingham and Vlerick Leuven Gent Business School. Former chairman of a racing yard.

A photograph of Ged Shields

Ged Shields

Involved in racehorse ownership since 2015 and has had 50 winners so far. Current trainers are Ruth Carr, Richard Fahey, Ralph Beckett, David Simcock and Willie Mullins. At present has shares in 18 Flat horses and one National Hunt chaser – Gr.1 winner Kemboy. Former Vice President of The Sherwin-Williams Company with international experience in marketing and mergers & acquisitions. Stood for the Racehorse Owners’ Association board in 2020.

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Media, interviews and comms contact the initiative support team at HorsepowerXP. | 07951 416 845