Photography by Daily Mail & Ged Shields


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


During the lockdowns of 2020, Jon Hughes and Ged Shields researched the landscape of British racing before publishing a data-based analysis:  A Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK:  Making retention and acquisition of owners the number 1 goal of a Racing Recovery Plan.  It was very well received and led to the launch of a campaign, Keep Owners in Racing.

A multi-media programme of advocacy and communication was deployed by Louise Holland and her team at HorsepowerXP. Throughout 2020 and 2021, 14 films, Perspectives in Racing, were produced with major owners, trainers, syndicators and influencers in the sport, together with 39 blogs and three further bulletins on the campaign’s progress.

150+ detailed discussions were held by telephone and on Zoom, and a forum was also organised for the MPs of racing constituencies.  We tested and validated all our recommendations from the Blueprint and now have a crystal-clear vision and road map of the major initiatives that need to be launched by racing’s leadership in order to retain current owners while attracting the next generation.

Unfortunately, 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.

In reaction to this conclusion, the Keep Owners in Racing team wrote a second major report: Why Racing Has to Change to Secure Owner Acquisition and Retention ….. and How to Do It. We launched this in the autumn of 2021 as a Manifesto for the Future – Retaining Owners as the #1 Key Investor. It can be freely downloaded from the KOIR web site.

We intend to kick on in 2022 and will press racing’s leadership to take the actions necessary to sustain our wonderful sport.  Do keep in touch with progress via


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.

Scroll to Top