There were promising signs regarding the number of horses in training in British Racing in figures published today by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), especially amongst the Flat population.
The figures show that there was an average of 8,914 Flat horses in training throughout the first three months of 2015, a rise of 241 (3%) compared to 2014 and the highest figure in five years.
There were also positive signs amongst the Jump population which showed a more modest rise of 55 (1%) from 5,026 to 5,081, however this represented a reversal in the trend towards decline in the last five years.
The overall average figure for horses in training stood at 14,630, up by 255 (2%) and the highest figure since 2011.
Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for the BHA, said:
“The news that the population of horses in training has risen on the Flat and steadied over Jumps is promising. We have made no secret that addressing the issue of small-field races currently affecting the sport is of critical importance.
“The range of initiatives we have implemented, in particular in the traditional ‘pinch-point’ period of January to March, seem to be having a positive impact, but alongside that a healthy horse population is essential if we are to meet our long-term objectives for the sport.
“There remains a great deal of work to be done, but we can build on the positive signs from the first quarter of this year as we look to move forwards in addressing this issue.”