TWE - View: Changes In Racing

Here at the Winners Enclosure, our latest edition of the VIEW sees us reflect on our current status in racing; where the authorities and the sports' governing body [BHA] are looking to evaluate and tackle multiple changes in the game.

Over the last five years, there have been paramount alterations in horse racing - some of which that will not even make it to this blog.*

We are looking into the rule changes in racing, concerning the whip which has certainly caught the headlines in recent weeks over it's usage.

Increased bans and punishments are currently in the spotlight and the news, with new guidelines are set to be unveiled in the near future.

Riding styles have varied over the last few years - particularly when we consider races abroad, and when they mix in with European and British contests.

Not just the style, but the colours - more aerodynamic silks have started to be installed by some trainers and this is something that will develop in the next few years.

More so of what has changed in the last few years and not what will change, racing has already adjusted to the modern world.

Even this week with temperatures sitting sky high, the requirement of horse welfare sits with maximum priority, whereas perhaps a few years ago, it did not.

The Grand National is a prime example, where last year Tiger Roll won the race for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott, and given the nature of the day all horses returned to the cool down area before heading back to the stables or winners enclosure.

Speaking of the National along with the home of jumps racing at Cheltenham, safety is gradually improving thanks to a report from the BHA, where there is a decreasing number of fatalities.

A number which of course is still too high, is coming down with thanks to added safety measures, and hopefully will produce better figures in the next 24 months.

What about those in racing - we have seen several jockeys retire and take up a role training, and female jockeys are much more prominent now than they were in say 2012 or 2013 thanks to efforts of the likes of Hayley Turner, Bryony Frost and Rachael Blackmore - some of which at Cheltenham.

More prize money has been on offer in the sport, but having said that, in the past twelve months it has swung back in the opposite direction with Arena Racing Company [ARC] withdrawing their investment at their tracks.

But, television - the wonderful piece of technology that helps us enjoy every second of the sport, even if we are at the racecourse venue, is surely the biggest switch-up.

RacingUK and AtTheRaces have been responsible for most of the coverage over the last decade until they both rebranded at the start of the year into RacingTV and Sky Sports Racing.

This has opened the door to further opportunities, offering spectators a more complete picture of the races.

ITV have taken the ownership of the feature contests at the weekends and the major mid-week festivals from Channel Four, and have paved the way for a more younger generation to enter the game.

Again, they have initiated further dimensions and features across their platforms, including on the growing trend of social media.

There has been more sufficient access to jockeys, trainers and owners - something you would not perhaps get in the Premier League of football.

Technology is also a common similarity between the two sports, with VAR being introduced into football and new time and sequence datas finally arriving to British racing.

We have clearer photo finishes and many camera angles which stewards can take advantage of in post-race enquiries.

Away from television, we have seen arguably better jockeys than ever with Frankie Dettori still going strong approaching fifty, but the younger clan taking up the reigns at a younger age.

Trainers have expanded their yards, and owners have invested even more into the game - again on the same wavelength there are substantial transfer fees in racing.

Prize money has increased on a certain level, with the Derby going up this year with additional runners and added supplementary fees.

The bottom end of the spectrum does appear to be suffering at 'grass roots level' with the FOBT change by the government inflicting less investment from Arc.

In the last few years, we have seen the FA in English football knuckle down to improve the foot of the pyramid, so surely this is the next step for racing to put the money back in at the lowest level.

Technology - the biggest change as highlighted by us, has been so clear to see in the way we bet - whether that be in shops of online.

Different opportunities to bet online have come with unique betting avenues - not just the winner, but winning distances or requesting multiple selections.

In shops, more machines are available for punters to create their accas and not just spill them all onto one sloppy sheet.

On track, place pots and all sorts have grown in popularity, and more people nowadays seem to be enjoying racing as a spectacle and a day out - testament to the efforts of the television channels.

We have lost faces like Sir Henry Cecil, John McCririck and an abundance of big named horses on the flat or in the National Hunt sphere.

But the show goes on and the new era in all elements have certainly come along and done a stellar job.

More change to come, and it's anyone's guess work to identify what comes next.

Have we missed anything?

*Have we missed anything?

Get in touch with us through our various social platforms and let us know your views on the changes in horse racing from the past five years.

You might be included in next week's edition of the VIEW blog.

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