Friday, August 28, 2009

Is horse racing dying in Great Britain?

The new "Duchess' Stand' that opened this year at Epsom. First-day attendance: 5,500 [Pic courtesy:]

It should be interesting, and also educative, to learn about the present state of horse racing in Britain. After all, we cannot ignore that like cricket, racing too, in its present form, came to us from that land.

On Wednesday, Marcus Townsend wrote in Daily Mail:

"IF horseracing in Britain is not quite in terminal decline, there are enough signs to suggest that it has been sleepwalking to an assisted suicide. It's flat, soulless and haemorrhaging support.

Simply digest these figures. In the last 15 years, racing's share of betting shop turnover has fallen from 75 per cent to 37 per cent. That rate of decline, a steady drop of four per cent over each of the past five years, has fallen to over 10 per cent in 2009.

The worrying numbers were recently revealed by Nick Rust, managing director of Coral. With crowd figures and sponsorship - albeit in difficult economic times - also down, it begs the question: Is racing destined to become an irrelevance?.....

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