by Richard Wayman, ROA Chief Executive
One of the most pleasing aspects of our recent Annual General Meeting was the announcement that Satellite Information Services Ltd, or SIS as they are more widely known, has agreed to become the sponsor of the Racehorse Owners’ Sponsorship Scheme for the next three years.
The scheme is one of the principal benefits offered to ROA members because, by providing much welcomed sponsorship income, it enables racehorse owners to register as a business for VAT purposes. This means that owners can reclaim VAT on their racing activities and with annual costs in the region of £20,000, an owner can expect to reclaim something like £4,000.
In addition, the VAT element on a horse’s purchase price can also be recovered and so it is no wonder that access to the scheme is one of the reasons most frequently given by owners joining the ROA.
Totesport had sponsored the scheme until its change of ownership last year and although in the meantime the ROA had managed to keep it going for the 1,500 or so sponsored horses that was only ever going to be a short-term solution.
Setting out to find a new sponsor seemed a pretty daunting task, particularly in the current economic climate, and so we were thrilled when David Holdgate, Chief Executive of SIS, told us that he was looking for an opportunity to demonstrate SIS’s long-term commitment to British racing by providing direct support to the people who provide the runners which makes racing a competitive betting product.
SIS provides coverage of domestic racing from 26 of Britain’s racecourses, as well as Irish and international racing from France, Dubai and South Africa, greyhound racing from BAGS-aligned tracks and a variety of other betting shop products. It is perhaps less well known that, through SIS LIVE, they operate the largest fleet of outside broadcast and satellite uplink trucks in Europe, working with leading broadcasters including Sky, the BBC and ITN.
Particular thanks must go to SIS’s Racing Executive David Bradshaw, who had the insight to fully appreciate the importance of this sponsorship to both racehorse owners and the racing industry generally. This isn’t surprising given that David had previously been Racing Director at the Levy Board and has owned plenty of horses over the years including, currently, the very smart novice chaser Notus De La Tour.
Members with horses covered by ROA sponsorship will be sent details of the new sponsorship arrangements with existing ROA logos to be replaced by SIS logos by September 1. We are very grateful that SIS has stepped in to protect the future of the scheme and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.
17 August 2012