Non-standard race times will be introduced on a permanent basis from 1 October 2020

High Definition wins at the Curragh

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), has announced that non-standard race times will be introduced on a permanent basis from 1 October 2020 following a successful trial period in February. 

The decision was made in order to provide more flexibility through extremely busy periods and to avoid clashes from delayed races. These changes will give more clarity for broadcasters and racing’s customers in the industry.

They shall be used when there are four or more fixtures across the United Kingdom and Ireland in one period of time, an afternoon being a session and an evening being a separate session.

What does the BHA say?

Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer of the BHA, said:

“The trial of non-standard times in February resulted in a reduced number of race clashes and delays on busy afternoons, which was well received by those watching, broadcasting and betting on the sport.

“This also had a positive impact on racing’s finances and following further collaboration with our colleagues in Ireland and discussions with the betting industry, we believe bringing in non-standard times on a permanent basis would continue to deliver considerable benefits to our customers.

“We appreciate the efforts of all those involved in attempting to ensure that races go off on time and there will, of course, still be occasions when unavoidable clashes and delays occur. However, this decision will help to minimise the frequency of such occurrences and ultimately allow us to schedule races in the best possible way for followers of the sport.”

What does HRI say?

Jason Morris, Director of Racing at HRI, said:

“HRI works closely, through SIS, with the BHA and Racing TV to optimise race times between the two countries. The use of non-standard race times, when trialled earlier in the year, proved effective in terms of reducing race clashes and enhancing broadcast coverage, improving the viewing experience for our customers.

“We have therefore agreed to their continuing utilisation from the start of October. As with the trial period, at the request of Irish racecourses, the first race in Ireland will retain a standard time to aid their promotional efforts.”


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