The Racehorse Owners Association's successful Owners Jackpot, which every week offers a £2,000 bonus to the winner of a middle or lower tier horse race in Britain, is being enhanced further this year.
By the end of 2018, more than half a million pounds will have been paid in bonuses at the grassroots of the country's Flat and jumps racing over the last five years.
Four times a year one of the races, Jackpot+, receives special promotion and, in addition to the £2,000 bonus for the owner of each winning horse and champagne, travel expenses of £250 are paid out for every qualifying ROA-owned runner in the race. Hospitality for association members with or without a runner is also provided including a complimentary drink and light refreshments.
In 2018, a new bonus is being added to Jackpot+. If the trainer of a qualifying winning horse in the Jackpot+ race is an ROA member, his or her yard will also receive £500.
The Jackpot+ days are at: Feb. 9—Chelmsford City; May 11—Market Rasen; July 13—Chester (evening meeting); and, Oct. 24—Fontwell Park.
The ROA Owners Jackpot initiative, which is aimed at boosting grassroots racing, has been supported by the Racing Post since its inception in 2014.
Consistently the field sizes in ROA Jackpot races have outperformed the industry standard. A key focus for the ROA is the flow of funds to grassroots racing, and this is something that it and other members of the Horsemen's Group continue to work in partnership with racecourses and the British Horseracing Authority to develop.
ROA Chief Executive Charlie Liverton said: "The ROA/Racing Post Owners Jackpot has been very well received by members and, having paid out over £400,000 since 2014, it has established itself as another popular membership benefit.
"The Jackpot+ races are especially valuable to ROA members with runners, not just because of the £2,000 bonus for winning, but because they receive £250 travelling expenses, a real bonus at grassroots level. We are also delighted now to be offering £500 to the winning yard - if the Trainer is an ROA member—in the four races during the year, thereby rewarding the racing staff who are so often the unsung heroes and heroines of our great sport."
Richard Jones, an owner with the Alyasan Partnership, said: "We were lucky enough to win the ROA Owners Jackpot race at Ludlow last year. We are a small syndicate with just two horses and the extra prize-money makes a big difference. The added prize-money all helps the running costs of our small syndicate. Three of our partners are first-time owners through the partnership so they are really pleased."
George McGrath, Chief Executive of the National Association of Racing Staff, said: "This initiative by the ROA in financially rewarding staff in Britain's training yards is very welcome indeed. The more that can be done to enhance the appeal of a career in the country's racing stables is excellent news."
Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, said: "Racing staff working in the training stables play a key role in making a success of Britain's second most popular spectator sport. It is a delight that racehorse owners are once again recognising the importance of their commitment and good work."
The ROA/Racing Post Owners Jackpot is a development of a scheme that has paid out over £400,000 to the association's members to date. Every week one race—which must have a minimum prize fund of £5,000 already—has a £2,000 bonus attached to it. If the winning horse belongs to an ROA member and qualifies, the extra payment is made on top of the prize-money on offer from the racecourse.
The ROA has been promoting the interests of racehorse owners in Great Britain since 1945 and has a membership of over 8,000. It is one of the British Horseracing Authority's shareholders, a member of the Horsemen's Group and will be a founder member of the Racing Authority. It plays a central role in British racing politics and finance. The ROA has a Board of 14 members, who are elected through ballot amongst all members of the ROA. The current ROA President is Nicholas Cooper. The ROA is funded almost entirely from membership income.