A consultation into the regulation of shared ownership that will identify the current risks and opportunities for those in this sphere of owning racehorses has been launched by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

The work is part of one of the key nine goals that was revealed last month as part of British racing’s recovery plan and will focus on ensuring that the regulation of shared ownership meets the needs of those participating in the sport as well as where it could be strengthened to mitigate risks and promote growth.

It will also investigate how current registration structure can support evolving ownership models better, how prospective owners can make informed decisions about shared ownership and how appropriate information is held about those involved in syndicates and race clubs.

The consultation process will be open to all who want to take part and those wishing to do so will be able to complete an online survey that will remain open for a period of eight weeks.

Once completed, responses from the consultation will be analysed and recommendations will be drafted for discussion with industry stakeholders ahead of being considered by the BHA Board before final decisions are published in early 2021.

Richard Wayman, BHA Chief Operating Officer, said: “The acquisition and retention of racehorse owners has never been more crucial to the future prospects of British Racing.

“Shared ownership is an affordable and fun way to enjoy racehorse ownership and has been steadily on the rise in recent years. As the number of people involved in, as well as managing, syndicates and racing clubs increase, though the associated risks invariably increase too.

“In recent years, we have seen a small number of incidents both in Great Britain and abroad, which have highlighted the risks posed by shared ownerships which are not properly run.

“While the vast majority of syndicates and racing clubs operate scrupulously and, in fact, work to drive up standards, it is critical for continued growth that the public retain trust in shared ownership and all those involved are sufficiently protected.

“This consultation provides an opportunity for us to work proactively by gathering feedback from those with experience of shared ownership as well as the wider racing industry.

“It will allow us to build on the Syndicate Code of Conduct launched in 2017 and our existing ownership registration function to ensure regulation meets the needs of our participants and provides a platform from which syndicates and racing clubs can grow their businesses.”

Charlie Liverton, the Racehorse Owners Association’s Chief Executive, added: “This is a welcome and much needed consultation. Obtaining owners’ opinions in order to develop the regulation of syndicates will ensure a fairer playing field for all, that meets the current needs of owners.

“Shared ownership is an important part of the future of racing so it’s vital that we give syndicate members comfort that they will be supported where issues arise. At a time when the industry needs it most, it is important that we increase the appeal of syndicates and this consultation is the first step in achieving this goal.”

The consultation has also been welcomed by the Racehorse Syndicates Association (RSA) and their Chairman Dan Abraham said: “With the increasing popularity of group ownership, the RSA welcomes the BHA’s approach to gain feedback from those involved in shared ownership.

“This will provide an opportunity for the BHA to review its current regulations and build on the Code of Conduct for Syndicates, helping ensure appropriate support and guidance is in place for those members and managers involved in syndicates and racing clubs.”