The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has delayed the publication of this year’s fixture list past its original deadline. The BHA already announced that meetings won’t exceed 1,400 in 2012 representing a cut of 80 fixtures from the year before. Now it has been delayed again after stakeholders in the shape of the Racecourse Association and Horsemen’s Group requested that it be delayed. The BHA’s release stated, “[The Authority] remains deeply concerned about the downgrading of the race programme, the declining horse population and the associated impact on competitiveness levels in 2012, all of which are the result of a Levy system that is failing the sport.”
The amount of the 2012 horseracing levy was supposed to be agreed at a meeting of the Levy Board tomorrow and that now seems not to be the case.
BHA has also appointed a new member to the team with the announcement that Paul Bittar is the new chief executive. Bittar’s previous position was as chief strategy officer at Racing Victoria and prior to that, as chief executive of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.
Upon his appointment, Bittar commented, “It is a tremendous honour for me to be appointed Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, the sport’s spiritual home. My priority on taking up the role will be to work with the Board and stakeholders to secure a sound business footing for the industry whilst further enhancing its world-leading racing programme and standards of integrity and welfare. I’m looking forward to both the challenge and the pleasure of working in British Racing again.”
His role begins in January 2012 and he takes the role from Chris Brand who was the group’s acting chief executive.