Chief Executive Richard Wayman has told the Racing Post that the ROA’s efforts to retain owners and attract new ones to the sport were akin to “trying to push water uphill”, as he pointed to figures that showed the average cost of running a horse in just one race amounts to more than £3,000.
He told the newspaper that a survey conducted into the expense involved in keeping a horse in training made for "depressing reading".
The ROA questionnaire, responses to which allowed for the full analysis of finances relating to 170 horses, showed the average cost of owning and running a horse in 2010 was £20,264 on the Flat and £16,128 over jumps.
Prize-money won by those horses enabled the owners polled to receive a net return on costs of 21 per cent, the same recovery figure as when the previous survey was carried out in 2007.
That compares to cost-recovery of 22 per cent in Ireland, 54 per cent in France and 63 per cent in Japan.
The survey’s sample also found that its respondents’ Flat horses ran 6.7 times a year, with jumpers making 5.1 outings over 12 months. The cost of supporting a horse per run was therefore worked out to be £3,056 on the Flat and £3,219 over jumps.
Mr Wayman said: “Until the net returns for owners are improved I have no doubt the sport will continue to lose owners and see horse numbers fall.
“For the last few years owners have been faced with an environment of declining prize-money but rising costs, and I am sad to say it is rare a day passes at the ROA when we don't hear from another member who has decided, usually with much regret, to get out of racehorse ownership.”
15 May 2012