By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
A leading and successful British horse race trainer, Ed Walker, has warned that British horse racing could suffer as a result of “pathetic” prize money that is currently on offer.
This means that many good horses could be sold to foreign buyers and raced abroad where prize money is much higher than in Britain.
“More and more Americans and Australians are coming to the yearling sales and buying our best-bred horses” he says.
Foreign buyers can afford to pay good prices because they can win back the money because of higher purses.
Walker believes, therefore, that there is a real threat of Britain becoming “a nursery for overseas owners.”
Thus, British prize money will be boosted by a sum of £7.5 million with the sport using money borrowed from the British Government’s Sport Winter Survival Package, in order to protect its standing and competitiveness with other major horse racing nations.
Furthermore, prize money at the Jockey Club’s 15 racecourses is to be boosted by £3 million during the rest of 2021.
Will all of these financial measures be enough to save the ‘sport of kings’ in Great Britain?