In the UK, cross-industry horseracing reform group Racing For Change has unveiled a list of ten trial measures that it hopes will bring a ‘positive change for the sport and its customers’. The measures will be implemented throughout the first half of 2010.
According to a report from The Guardian newspaper, Racing For Change will trial decimal odds rather than their traditional fraction counterparts at several meetings over a single weekend in the Spring. Fractional odds hark back to the birth of the sport in the 18th century and if successful, the trial could see decimal odds rolled out across British horseracing.
Racing For Change was established to modernise the sport of horseracing while widening its appeal. It wants trainers and jockeys to undergo media training and stated that it would set aside a budget, thought to be £100,000, to pay the fees of individuals making appearances outside of the mainstream-racing media.
Another measure will see all trainers and jockeys listed on race cards by their first and second names while a free club for ‘younger adults’ is to be established offering discounted entry to tracks alongside shares in horses. Racing For Change stated that this second measure would enable potential new fans to visit a specially-designed website featuring basic information about the sport and the best ways to get involved.
The group will also establish a scheme to ‘encourage’ on-course bookmakers to offer standard each-way terms. It also stated that ‘race names should be simplified and racecourse announcements modernised’. Racing For Change also hopes to bring some of the excitement of line-call challenges at Wimbledon to horseracing. The outcomes of photo-finishes are set to be displayed on big screens as the results are announced by the judge.
“What [racing] requires is a clearer structure and better presentation of its strengths; its drama, spectacle and heritage as well as its equine and human stars,” said Chris McFadden, Chairman for Racing For Change.