The Jockey Club, which stages "some of British horseracing's most famous events including the Cheltenham festival and the Grand National, announced record financial results," according to Stephen Wood of REUTERS. The group, the "largest commercial operation in the sport in Britain," increased its turnover in '13 by 11% to a record £166.9M. Its contribution to prize money in '13 reached £18.24M, up 47% in five years. Total prize money at Jockey Club racecourses in '13 reached a record £41.6M. Group "operating profits for the year" increased 11% to a record £22M (REUTERS, 4/16). In London, Roger Blitz reported the Jockey Club, which operates 15 U.K. racecourses, ran 361 fixtures last year, attracting 1,740,000 people. In '12, its racecourses "attracted 1,770,000 from 336 fixtures." The group pointed to the "loss of Cheltenham's popular new year's day fixture to the weather and a fall in the number of music events as reasons for the decline" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/16).
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: The BBC reported the Jockey Club has "also been adding other attractions to bring in new crowds, such as its 'racing plus music' events, which saw six races followed by performances by acts including the Kaiser Chiefs and Meat Loaf." This year, Jockey Club racecourses has entered into a "joint venture partnership -- Jockey Club Live -- to stage future live music and entertainment events." Acts lined up to play at the Group's venues nationwide "include Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, The Beach Boys and Dizzee Rascal" (BBC, 4/16). Jockey Club CEO Simon Bazalgette said, "Every penny of profit we make we put back into our sport to support its longterm health and prosperity. Racing is a sport that generates more than £3.45 billion for the U.K. economy each year and supports thousands of jobs" (London TELEGRAPH, 4/17).