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.

Image: © Daily Mail
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 aRacing Recovery Plan

Download the PDF

Ownership Experience

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. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Many believe racing is facing a crisis with dissatisfied owners are giving up on the game – with huge financial implications for the sport.

We produced A Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK: Making retention and acquisition of owners the number 1 goal of the racing recovery plan. We challenge racing’s leadership to produce such a plan by October 2020.

Perspectives in Racing Films

Film one
Trainer view with George Baker

George Baker; Trainer at George Baker Training

Film length: 21 minutes

Editor note: Recorded via video meeting and due to this has slight interference at the start of the film.


Film two
Syndication view with Dan Abraham and Tom Palin

Focus: Syndication strategy featuring Dan Abraham, Syndicate Manager; Foxtrot Racing and Chair of the Racehorse Syndicates Association, with Tom Palin, Director, Middleham Park Racing

Film length: 25 minutes


Film three
Trainer view with Mark Johnston

Focus: The view from the top; with the winning-most British Trainer, Mark Johnston. Johnston Racing.

Film length: 21 minutes


100 days campaign blog

Blog one
Team Racing – why Racing needs more than ever to collaborate

If a week is a long time in politics, then a fortnight is definitely a long time in the launch of a campaign.  When Ged Shields and I introduced our Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the... Read
Jon Hughes

by Jon Hughes

Blog two
Peace breaks out (hopefully) – Levy board pours oil on troubled waters (again)

During lockdown there was a rare outbreak of collaborative behaviour across racing’s fragmented and disunited stakeholders in the Resumption of Racing Group.  Just about everyone rallied around to... Read
Jon Hughes

by Jon Hughes

Blog three
Signing the pledge – and we’re not talking about going teetotal

At the heart of our campaign to Keep Owners in Racing we have advocated a strongly collaborative approach to be adopted by all the leaders of British racing. Maintaining unity and common purpose... Read
Jon Hughes

by Jon Hughes

Blog four
“Money, money, money” – it’s a horsemen’s world

Our 100-day campaign to apply pressure on British Racing to develop a highly practical Recovery of Racing Plan broadly coincides with the first 100 days in office of the new Chairman of the... Read
Jon Hughes

by Jon Hughes

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A jockey with his horse and a small crowd of people

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The conversation on Twitter 

RT @RacingPost: Relief for traders as two-day Land Rover Sale gets under way View tweet
RT @OwnersforOwners: Blueprint Theme for the Day: Leadership of the BHA. We all wish the new CEO the very best of success. But that can onl… View tweet
Blog Four: "Money, Money, Money.." is now in the inboxes of those members who have signed up via… View tweet

The Authors of this Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK

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 21 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. Chairman of Martin Keighley’s yard in Gloucestershire.

A photograph of Ged Shields

Ged Shields

Involved in racehorse ownership since 2015 and has had 38 winners so far. Current trainers are Ruth Carr, Richard Fahey, Ralph Beckett, Ed Walker 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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