BGRB Prize Money Survey
The BGRB is pleased to publish the results of the 2006 prize money survey. The report of the survey’s findings can be downloaded by clicking here.
Prize Money Survey FAQ’s
Q. How many people took part?
A. 551 individuals completed the survey, including 37 who did so by posting completed forms to the BGRB Offices. The remainder completed the survey online via the BGRB Website: www.thedogs.co.uk.
Q. Why has the survey not been published until now?
A. The survey was completed last spring, but at the BGRB Board Meeting in June the Directors requested that its findings were not published until they had conducted further research among their own stakeholder groups prior to agreeing the 2007 budget in December 2006. Failure to publish since then was, in the main, an oversight of the BGRB, for which we apologise in particular to those who took the time to participate.
Q. How much was the survey used in producing the 2007 annual budget?
A. The budget process starts in September, when the stakeholder organisations, including the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC), Racecourse Promoters Association (RCPA), Federation of British Greyhound Owners Associations (FBGOA), Greyhound Trainers Association (GTA) and UK Breeders Forum put their first submissions into the process via the appropriate BGRB sub-committee.
The survey did impact on the bids which were submitted by the BGRB Racing, Welfare and Commercial Committees to the Board’s Budget Committee (the chairman and two independent directors) and the Budget Committee was very much aware of its contents. However it was just one of many factors which influenced the budget setting process, the same as in any year. The annual budget reflects the issues that were facing the BGRB at the time of its setting and the views of the Directors as to how those issues should be prioritised.
Q. 92% of people who took part believed that prize money was too low. How could the BGRB decide to cut the prize money grant knowing that?
A. It came as no great surprise that the survey results indicated a preference to increase prize money.
The grant to prize money was reduced, as was the funding to capital development projects, to allow for increased spending on greyhound welfare projects. With the progress of the Animal Welfare Bill through Parliament and the high profile media revelations from Seaham, there became a need for the sport to put its money where its mouth was and demonstrate its commitment to welfare. Since the budget was passed a number of owners and trainers have approached the BGRB about the link between prize money and welfare, and that is a point of view that will be fully considered in September when the 2008 budget preparations begin.
The Board is keen to stress however that the BGRF grant makes up a relatively small proportion of the total of prize money paid compared to the promoters themselves. The 2007 BGRF prize money grant was 40% higher than the 2003 BGRF grant. If owners and trainers are receiving less prize money than they were in 2003 despite this overall increase in BGRF grant, they should be looking elsewhere for the reasons for any reduction.
Q. Did the prize money survey affect the way that individual tracks’ prize money grants were calculated?
A. In 2006, the Racecourse Promoters Association (RCPA) agreed that it was necessary to reform the system for calculating individual tracks’ prize money grants. The old system had relied on rolling-over the previous year’s grant and adding a small increase onto it based on the average prize money paid at that track. Because this system began in 2003 the effect of it was that the tracks which paid the most prize money in 2003 got the biggest grants in 2006; it was clearly unfair.
Having reviewed the system, the RCPA agreed unanimously to accept a new system where every dog competing in every race was entitled to receive the same amount of BGRF prize money grant. This system helped those tracks which raced more regularly and hit particularly hard those tracks which had paid high prize money earlier in the decade but had slipped back down the league table – the system was supported by the findings of the prize money survey where responses leant strongly towards more equal distribution of prize money grants.
Following lengthy discussions, this mechanism was adopted by the Federation of British Greyhound Owners Associations (FBGOA) and implemented into the new budget. It is fair to say that even if the total prize money grant had not been reduced, and even if there had been no prize money cuts at the tracks, many tracks would still have been hit by a cut in their BGRF prize money grant at the expense of others.
Q. Will there be any prize money increases in 2007?
A. The annual budget has been set and agreed so there is no scope to increase the total prize money grant this year. There are two methods however which could lead to prize money increases, one of them possible and the other certain.
1. As a result of Top Dog being cancelled, money allocated in the budget to prize money will not be paid to that event. The BGRB Racing Committee is therefore examining the possibility of introducing races or competitions for graded dogs to make use of that money.
2. Every dog run at every stadium receives £4.50 in the form of a BGRF prize money grant. This is true for all open races as well as graded races, so typically 12 (races) x £27 (£4.50 per dog for six dogs) is paid out for each meeting. However, this money can only be put towards supporting graded races, so each time a track stages an open race it will be putting aside £27 for future distribution to graded races in 2007.