British racecourses could be seeing some fresh owners’ colours in the coming months after nine applicants were approved by the BHA after a successful trial.

The trial, which offered owners the chance to design their own racing silks, took place throughout February and proved a resounding success.

For the first time, the colours that owners were putting forward did not undergo scrutiny of the usual restrictions but did need to be distinguishable and clear to racing audiences.

“The trial was conceived to help gauge the appetite among owners for bespoke silks. After five weeks we now understand better the sort of designs that owners would like to register and also the opportunities that the liberalisation of owners’ colours offers,” said Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer of the BHA.

“It’s been pleasing to see such a wide range of different owners engage with the trial and with sole owners and partnerships submitting designs, along with companies too, it highlights a broad appeal.

In the coming months, we will be looking to build on the trial and give owners more choice both as part of the standard colours available to all owners and through a more permanent option to register premium silks.”

There are currently 14,000 sets of colours registered in Britain alone, with 18 shades of colour forming the BHA’s colour palette.

With the trial now permanently extended, individuals and businesses can submit potential new designs via the BHA website with a fee of £5,000.

Of that fee, 20% will be split between Racing Welfare and Retraining of Racehorses. The remaining 80% will go towards methods and initiatives aimed at attracting new owners to the sport.

Everybody from the cleaner through to the managing director submitted ideas

David Ashley, Managing Director of Oi Digital Ltd and another successful applicant, said: “We thought this was a great opportunity to get everybody within our company more involved with our horses and we ran a company-wide design competition.

“Everybody from the cleaner through to the managing director submitted ideas and we asked each member of the team to vote for their favourite ideas – it was great fun and helped get the team behind our horses.

“We wanted our racing silks to be unique and to stand out so people can immediately recognise that it’s an Oi horse. Having a design that also abstractly reflects the nature of our business is an added bonus.”