Friday 1 November 2019

The Owners for Owners Vision of an Ownership Strategy – Without a £1.65m Tab!

In the spring and summer of 2018 I read about the Racehorse Owners’ Association’s leadership role in the creation of a “new ownership strategy for British racing”. Excellent, I thought – just what the industry needs, and I was keen to have a look at it. I sent emails off to the ROA requesting a copy, but received nothing in return. Eventually I decided to up the ante and write to all the top leaders in racing – BHA, GBR, RCA, NTF, Horsemen’s Group and, of course, the ROA. Doubtless I ruffled a few feathers and I received a very emollient note back from Nick Rust, the CEO of the BHA. Collaboration and communication were duly emphasised, and not surprisingly I was placated and waited to see the strategy. I have continued to wait for the last 15 months, but so far nothing formal has appeared, despite the ROA receiving £1.65m from the Racing Foundation to produce their magnum opus. Finally, in frustration, I decided to launch my own twitter campaign, with one tweet a day throughout October outlining my own thoughts on a suitable blueprint for ownership. Indeed, if you really wanted to see these tweets you could just scroll down the twitter box on the home page on my web site, I suspect you’ll have better things to do! The twitter exercise and all the various comments associated with it led me to produce the diagram below.

Apparently there is going to be a round of communication about the ownership strategy throughout the autumn. If so, I’m going to be very interested to see whether the ROA’s blueprint is as comprehensive as mine. At the moment they appear to be playing around at the edges of ownership with lots of “mini-initiatives”. I learnt a long time ago that you can have strategies with a small s and Strategy with a big S. My approach is to go for a big, bold vision, whereas it looks as though the ROA – despite the expensive involvement of the Portas consultancy – are lost in the minutiae of the strategic margins. Surely it is time to put a big strategy centre stage, and actually do something significant. Anyway, I’ve made my contribution and it certainly doesn’t come with a £1.65m price tag. Even if you don’t agree with what I’ve outlined, the input can hardly be better value for money as I’m not charging anyone anything. I do hope that the ROA strategy eventually surfaces - “hope springs eternal”!

I am always interested to hear your views so please do leave a comment. If you can't see the comment box at the bottom of this post then navigate to the post using the right hand navigation or click here > and scroll to the bottom of the page. Look forward to hearing your views. Thanks very much for sharing them.


  1. Jon,
    An awful lot of common sense spoken in this months blog.
    A shame that all of the groups involved dont seem to be able to get their act together and sort this really important and vital situation out.
    Time is running out and such inaction will solve nothing.