'Landmark' agreements announced
Ascot, Newmarket and York feature on a list of 27 tracks to sign up to new prize money agreements.
Ascot, Newmarket and York feature on a list of 27 tracks to sign up to new agreements committing an agreed proportion of their income to prize money pots.
The Horsemen's Group and the British Horseracing Authority are anticipating an uplift of almost £5 million in prize money contributions compared to 2013 following the introduction of prize money agreements should all tracks sign up.
The signing of Prize Money Agreements changes a racecourse's own contribution to prize money from being a discretionary payment to a contractual minimum commitment between racecourses and horsemen.
Philip Freedman, chairman of the Horsemen's Group, said: "These are landmark agreements for the sport and we view their introduction as a welcome first step towards delivering improved returns for horsemen.
"Until now a racecourse's contribution to prize money has been totally discretionary and even though racecourse revenues have grown significantly in recent years, it has been left to them to decide how much should be passed on to the participants.
"We hope that they represent the start of a new era of collaboration and trust between the sport's key stakeholders.
"These contractual commitments will lock in the amounts that racecourses are currently investing in prize money and, for some, require significant increases. Racecourses will also contribute, as a minimum, an agreed share of future growth from the sale of rights for betting.
"I am delighted that 12 independent tracks with varying business models, ranging from Ascot to Ffos Las and including all Scottish racecourses, as well as the Jockey's Club's tracks, have recognised the importance in working with the Horsemen's Group and the BHA to strengthen the relationships between the industry's stakeholders and to create a partnership approach to developing racing's revenue streams.
"Should all courses sign agreements, this would increase racecourses' contribution to prize money by around £5m in 2014.
"While this would obviously be a positive development, nobody should be in any doubt that there is still much to be done before British Racing offers levels of prize money that adequately finances an industry into which owners inject nearly £500m every year.
"We view these agreements and the principles they establish as an important stage in a journey that will also require working with the government, Levy Board and bookmakers to provide a fair return to the people without whom racing cannot take place."