The Jockey Club has announced record annual financial results and its greatest-ever contribution to prize money in Britain’s second biggest spectator sport.
The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British racing, which stages events including the Cheltenham Festival, the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival, the QIPCO Guineas Festival and The Investec Derby Festival, saw turnover in 2013 increase 11 percent by £16.6m to a record £166.9m (2012: £150.3m), beating its 8 percent growth achieved the prior year and the 1.9 percent growth in the UK economy.
Admissions, hospitality and retail catering sales at major racing festivals, media incomes, music nights and non-racing events were particularly important in this performance.
Group operating profits increased 11 percent by £2.2m to a record £22.0m (2012: £19.8m), allowing it to contribute an industry record £18.24m (2012: £16.55m) towards funding prize money from its own resources through Jockey Club Racecourses, its 15-strong racecourse arm, which is the UK’s largest.
Total prize money at Jockey Club Racecourses reached a record £41.6m from 361 fixtures.
2013 was the fifth consecutive year of record Group turnover and operating profits. In the last five years, The Jockey Club has grown its Group turnover by 31 percent (2009: £127.6m),
Group operating profits by 28 percent (2009: £17.2m) and its contribution to prize money by 47 percent (2009: £12.4m).
Jockey Club Racecourses, which stages a quarter of the British racing calendar, accounted for 68 percent of the increase in all racecourses’ contribution to prize money in 2013. Prize money is the lifeblood of the sport, providing a return to racehorse owners and vital to the livelihoods of trainers, jockeys and stable staff. In just the last three years, The Jockey Club has contributed more than £50m to prize money from its own resources (£51.1m).