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Horse Racing: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 59618, tabled on 15 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with representatives from the Horserace Betting Levy Board on the (a) value of, (b) timeframe for applications to and (c) transparency of the Racing Relief Fund.

Answered on

23 June 2020

Following the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) decision to suspend racing on 18 March 2020, DCMS officials have been in regular discussions with the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) regarding support to British racing during the coronavirus outbreak.

These discussions did not focus on the details of the Racing Relief Fund, which is an industry-led initiative led by the Racehorse Owners Association, with support from the Racing Foundation, in which the HBLB has no administrative or financial role.

The £2.5 million fund was announced as part of the HBLB and Racing Foundation’s £28 million cashflow and support package announced on 17 April. This support package was developed collaboratively and it was agreed that the HBLB would focus on support for racecourses and the Racing Foundation on support for participants, both human and equine.

The Racing Relief Fund is designed to meet the welfare needs of horses whose owners are suffering financial hardship. The scheme will provide up to £2.5 million of grants to assist with the costs of looking after horses in racing stables and in rehoming centres.